BBC Two is the secondary TV channel of the BBC in the UK. Launched in 1964 as BBC2, it adopted its current name in 1997. It shows more highbrow content than the mainstream BBC One.
BBC2 (first era)
On 20 April 1964, the launch of the channel was delayed by an infamous power failure in Central London. The channel could only be launched the next day.
On 1 July 1967, the first official colour channel in the UK launched on UHF and with it came a brand new ident.
1975–1978 (secondary), 1979–1986 (primary)
In December 1975, the BBC introduced the two curved lines that form the number '2' as "The Tinsel 2", however this was before this logo was introduced. Then, the "Two-Line Curves" officialy debuted in December 1978, but it did not become the official logo for BBC2 until April 1979 with the debut of the first computer-generated ident. The logo was phased out on 31 March 1986.
BBC Two (first era)
Visa (digitised as Avia)
The channel wanted to aim programming that was more high brow and sophisticated. As a result, they wanted the new logo to reflect this. The BBC commissioned Alan Jeapes, who was responsible for the title sequence for BBC1's hit soap EastEnders the year before, to create the new look.
Based on Gill Sans ("2") Helvetica Neue (BBC logo)
After 5 and a half years of the dull and worthy identity, as part of an extensive rebrand to cast off BBC2's "highbrow" tone. Lambie-Nairn launched a brand new set of idents, featuring a numeral '2', which originally lasted for 10 and a half years until they were replaced in 2001. This extensive rebrand occurred on 16 February 1991.
The 1991 ident package was retained following the corporate rebrand of the BBC on 4 October 1997 with a new logo and new idents commissioned. BBC 2 was also renamed as BBC Two. Despite being discontinued from 2007, it remained in use as a on-screen graphic within BBC Learning Zone, until BBC Learning Zone was discontinued in 2015.
On 19 November 2001, BBC Two introduced a new look and set of idents. The logo was slightly modified, being stacked and placed inside a purple box. The idents were changed for the first time in 10 and a half years; the "2" symbol stayed the same, but it was given a pair of arms and a "personality". The BBC added to the roster of 4 idents over the years.
Similar versions of this Gill Sans logo in a box were introduced by two other BBC channels in March 2002: the new channel BBC Four on 2 March (which lasted until the 2021 rebrand of the BBC), and BBC One on 29 March (which lasted until 2006).
A new logo was introduced on 18 February 2007, with the typography on the word "TWO" being changed from the Gill Sans typeface to the Avenir typeface, and the box's colour changing violet to teal. The blade "2" has been slightly altered for this look. From 2018 until 2021 this was a secondary logo.
The boxless variant of the 2007 BBC Two logo has been used in promos since 2012 and in the revived 1991 ident package for Northern Ireland from 1 January 2015. On 27 September 2018, BBC Two launched a new look, using the boxless 2007 logo and ditching its famous "2" icon that had been in use since 1991. The box logo from 2007 is currently used as a secondary logo and the "2" symbol resembles a curved wave.
BBC Reith Sans
20 October 2021
As part of the BBC’s broadcaster-wide rebrand on 20 October 2021, BBC Two introduced a new logo, though the Curve idents from September 2018 will remain with some modifications. Like the other BBC channels, the new logo uses the proprietary BBC Reith typeface.
Used from 16 February 1991 to 18 February 2007. From 2001 to 2007, the 1991 2's replaced the white 2, and the few idents had robotic arms. To celebrate its 50th birthday in 2014, BBC Two brought back many old idents, including the 1991-97 and 1997-2001 set of idents featuring the "2". In 2015, the 1991-2001 set of idents and stings were brought back on a more permanent basis.