BBC’s ‘Focus on Africa’ switches to new motion graphics, music

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BBC’sFocus on Africa” has switched to an updated look and sound on June 5, 2023, and now originates from the network’s Nairobi Bureau in Kenya. The new design brings the show closer in line with the news division’s overall design mandate.

The show, available on BBC News’ international feed, previously had a largely orange color palette with a literal interpretation of a map with glassy 3D elements.

The old ‘Focus on Africa’ title card.

The show’s previous design also included the use of green and yellows and typically had backlit LED set elements shaded in yellow and orange.

The newscast has overhauled its open, video wall graphics and music, but continues to use the same insert graphics and lower thirds as the rest of the network, though the show title element has shifted from green to red.

Like most BBC News brands, the show now uses the network’s signature red shade and a flatter look, a move that brings a sense of cohesiveness to the program in the larger BBC ecosystem.

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It also now features an animated geometric element that uses four quarter-round shapes. These shapes often twirl around the screen, a look that’s similar to the 2021 icons the network introduced to distinguish between its various offerings.

The layout could be interpreted as the rough shape of Africa, with the smallest one perhaps meant to represent the island nation of Madagascar or the Horn of Africa.

The element can appear as both a standalone background design on branded video wall graphics as well as a way to frame out cutout elements in topical looks.

The show’s music has also been updated to a cut with a more prominent signature element with distinct percussion and strings. Previously, the music had a more acoustic sound with some string elements that felt more like an afterthought. 

Both versions of the music are inspired by the network’s trademark “pulsating” theme music, though the new version takes the notes in a slightly different direction in terms of tempo and pitch and makes it sound less like a bed or vamp.

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