It's the end of an era for design company Hello Charlie as Big Brother comes to a close. For the past six years, the Bristol-based firm has created the title sequnce for the reality show, and has been faced with the challenge of re-presenting the iconic eye design year-on-year to give each series its own visual branding.
“Each series we use the Channel 4-designed Big Brother eye as our starting reference to create the visual universe that packages the show," says creative director Paul Tigwell. "Every eye has been unique in it’s design and our challenge has been to create a visually arresting title sequence that is individual each year yet remains faithful
to the Big Brother brand.
"The title sequence may air over 500 times during the summer it is important that the layering of design and concepts withstand the scrutiny of multiple viewing.”
Working closely with Big Brother series director Tony Gregory, the finished design has to operate on the different levels of the wide-ranging delivery.
In addition to the title sequence, Hello Charlie also produced multiple stings, an on-screen graphics kit and house design elements that echo the year’s theme. References over the last six years have ranged from psychometric testing to the films of Stanley Kubrick, always 'edging towards an Orwellian, dystopian view of the shows’ fundamental essence' according to the firm.
“The central design idea [for the current set of titles] is based on the concept of a 1900’s version of what Big Brother would have been," says lead designer Neil Harris, "a ‘Victoriana circus-themed fairground’. Peepholes, rotating mirrors and surreal mechanical devices reveal action, such as zoetropes or cog-driven contraptions. It takes a twisted perspective to delve below the colourful surface to convey a true sense of the range of dynamics in the house”.