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New Boss, New Image – BT Prep Brand Refresh with New UK Logo UPDATE

Thursday, May 16th, 2019 (8:14 am) - Score 20,676
bt 2016 2019 original logo trademark

Telecoms and broadband ISP giant BT Group are understood to be considering a change of logo today, which our sources suggest will be based upon the one they originally trademarked all the way back in 2016 (pictured), except the new version will be mainly white and may have a glow around it.

The trademark proposal for BT’s original redesign in 2016 can be seen here and a colourised version was also produced here, although the latter was later withdrawn. At the time we assumed that BT had chosen not to adopt the logo during 2016/17 because they had much bigger things to focus upon with Ofcom’s Strategic Review and the change to Openreach’s independence focused re-branding.

However this week our sources have indicated that BT’s new CEO, Philip Jansen, may be set to return to their plans for a brand refresh (possibly being decided as part of a meeting taking place today), albeit with some tweaks to the originally proposed logo (as described top). We also did another search of the trademarks database and found that BT had yesterday submitted a virtually identical one to their 2016 design (here).

Big companies have a tendency to go through periodic branding refreshes, which are frequently timed to reflect big changes in leadership and / or strategy. BT’s recent CEO change, as well as any related restructuring and their move to ramp-up the UK deployment of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) ultrafast broadband technology (here), could well qualify.

By the sounds of it the new logo may also give a nod to BT’s first design from many years ago (designed to symbolise a telegraph pole), which also featured a single circle (see below – far left side). Not big news, just interesting. At the time of writing we don’t yet know when the final design will be unveiled to the public.

bt logo history

UPDATE 1:32pm

Also today BT’s new CEO has announced a commitment of £50m towards making BT Group colleagues shareholders in the company (here). The ‘yourshare’ scheme will amount to approximately £50m per year for colleagues around the world, equating to an initial award value of £500 per employee. The shares will need to be held for three years, a move designed to encourage long-term thinking and customer focus.

UPDATE 3:46pm

We’ve managed to sneak out one of the first uses of the new logo. Sorry it’s in a bit of a low resolution but this is a leak. You can just about make out the subtle colourised glow at the edges and this is the white on dark background version, as expected.

bt_sport

UPDATE 17th May 2019

Due to other distractions we missed BT’s official statement on this yesterday afternoon. A Spokesperson said: “We’ve shared our new logo with our colleagues today and will consult them on the detail as we gradually roll it out towards the end of the summer. Our CEO has been very clear that the new mark symbolises real change.” We expect to see the new logo doing the rounds from August 2019.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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47 Responses
  1. Avatar Thoughts

    That logo looks like something someone could walk up in 2 minutes in the 90s not a logo for a company moving into the future.

    • As per the article, we don’t have the final logo yet and it will look a bit different.

    • Avatar Phil

      I do hope it’s not that black logo, it looks horrendous, dread to think how much it cost for someone to come up with that. I could see that being used as a stamp on bits of installed kit or stamped into manhole covers, plus you could see that easily embossed on plastic jointing boxes etc, but on vans and other paper work, surely not.

      If it was April 1st I wouldn’t have believed it.

      You’d think BT had better things to do than mess around changing their logos, and better things to spend their money on, but I guess Philip Jansen wants to leave his mark in the company history and that is taking priority.

      Every company I have ever worked for, a branding change has always left staff feeling unsettled and demotivated, in part because management care more for silly frivolous changes than looking after their staff.

    • Avatar SimonR

      @Phil

      According to https://logos.fandom.com/wiki/BT there was a colour version proposed at one time.

    • The article above already links to the colourised version on the official trademark page, but they withdrew it fairly quickly.

  2. Avatar Martin Pitt - Aquiss

    Mark, you need a down vote option on your new stories, because I’ll be hitting it very quickly. lol

  3. Avatar Nofibre

    The original logo seems quite apt.
    Using two smaller circles signifying another BT ‘balls up” will be the probable result of any dealings with this company.
    Ofcom are just glove puppets for this company.

  4. Avatar Terry

    Looks a bit like the old National Front logo lol :

    https://imgur.com/kPmImR4

  5. Avatar BT

    Black mean RIP BT. Good riddance! Hope they go ahead with that logo.

  6. Avatar Rat Salad

    This is a good opportunity to remind everybody the last-but-one logo was known internally as the Prancing Pervert, featuring (if you looked at it just right) a red satanic snake 😉

  7. Avatar DL

    BT was privatised in 1984.

    1984…. I wonder why that date just popped into my head?

  8. Avatar Yes

    You were right————

  9. Avatar Ivor

    As a tiny shareholder, why?!!?!?!

    A rebrand of a company of BT’s size is not going to be cheap and cheerful (even though the logo itself might be).

    Could have been spent on something far more useful (and even something that generates a return)

    • Avatar Mel

      I’m a very small shareholder too, and I agree a rebranding is not going to be cheap and is a sheer waste of money. That potential new logo certainly doesn’t look cheerful, quite the opposite, and if rebranding consultants are involved it won’t have been cheap either.

      Not sure what they are trying to say with the new design, but it looks to me it is BT, we’re a bit naff.

      Kind of looks like a hazard warning sign.

      If they wan’t to bring back a blast from the past, perhaps they should resurrect Busby.

  10. Avatar Martin Pitt - Aquiss

    The more I think about it, it’s like the age ratings you get on DVDs. Finally a rating for Bloody Terrible. lol

  11. Avatar mike

    lol

    – That’s all I have to say

  12. Avatar Gavin Patterson

    And the share price is still tumbling..

  13. Avatar Tony

    These days companies tend to go for simpler logos. You need something clear on a billboard, and flexible to be an icon for an app, then legible in a tiny footer on a mobile web page.

    The world icon is starting to look a bit dated, a bit 1990s (although I know it’s not that old).

    I think you can only judge it in the execution of the entire brand, and how it all fits together.

    Judging a logo out of context and saying “My child could have done that for 50p how much did they pay consultants” scoffery has been the response to every rebrand ever.

    • Avatar Tom

      Yes, but it’s literally true. Swapping a very recognisable and iconic logo and colour scheme for the letters “BT” in a circle is baffling. It’s bland and uninspiring, and it will cost them millions.

    • Avatar Ivor

      This one actually does look like a clipart or MS paint job though.

      Simple does not mean bad – Orange’s logo was pretty simple yet also iconic. So much so that France Telecom changed its name to adopt it group wide! But this is both simple yet clearly not had much thought into it.

      Looking at the leaked picture, any time it gets used it will just look like a bit of text that you need to read to work out who it is. The “connected world” is recognisable instantly. What’s that about execution?

  14. Avatar BT - Bloody Terrible

    Instead of wasting time and money with a new logo, which frankly looks like something a 3 year old could do, perhaps BT could invest in it’s infrastructure which is poor at best.

    Where is the promised fibre broadband that we were promised? I live just outside Swindon and we have no hope of getting fibre here as “it’s too expensive”? What about the promise for us all to have superfast broadband? Where is the great mobile coverage we were promised? 1 bar on 4G inside my house! When the rest of the world seems to be adopting RCS as a successor to SMS, BT/EE’s stance is “We have no current plans to provide this service” Why not?

    Collectively in my household we pay over £200 a month to the BT group and what do we get for that? Frequent engineer visits and terrible signal. I can be sat in a shack on the beach in India and get full mobile signal and wifi, what is the matter with this country and it’s lack enthusiasm in its infrastructure?

    • Avatar Mike

      Tried 4G with an external antenna?

    • Avatar SimonR

      I don’t want to bring any political opinions into this, but our fibre infrastructure was vastly delayed in 1990 (https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/world-of-tech/how-the-uk-lost-the-broadband-race-in-1990-1224784).

      I know in retrospect everything seems obvious, but we would likely be where you’re talking about now were it not for decisions made then.

    • Avatar Ivor

      I’m not going to claim that BT are perfect and couldn’t possibly have done more, but your post reeks of “grass is greener” delusion. I would be very doubtful that a country the size of India is going to have universal high speed 4G everywhere you go, even in the middle of nowhere – just as we don’t.

      Also, no mobile network guarantees coverage inside buildings.

      You’re in a bad situation but most people aren’t.

    • Avatar Fastman

      hmmm — live just outside Swindon and we have no hope of getting fibre here as “it’s too expensive”? What about the promise for us all to have superfast broadband? – how do you know its too expensive and what steps have you taken to make that conclusion ?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      What about BDUK for you, other suppliers exist.

  15. Avatar Roger_Gooner

    I couldn’t help remembering the story told by Spike Milligan. As a BT shareholder he’d attend the AGMs and as the chairman was waxing lyrical about BT’s products he’d put his hand up. On being asked why, he’d say: “My phone doesn’t work.”

  16. Avatar StillWaitingForSuperFast

    Agreed the new logo looks quite deathly.

    A new backronym definitely in order.

    ‘Being Terminated’? (No a moment too soon)

  17. Avatar Declan

    Sorry to swear but looks utter shit!

  18. Avatar Some Guy

    Will have to see how the new logo turns out but I think its good to see some energy and commitment to improvement around BT. I know they are far from perfect but its easy to sit and always complain about them.

  19. Avatar WhoSaidThat

    I always liked the logo suggestion made in the Sun newspaper in the 90’s, it was two drawing of two British Telecom engineers siting in a tent with a cupper and the title said

    ‘B Tea’

  20. Avatar Stu

    I’m hoping all these free shares will up the share price going forward

  21. Avatar BT (aka Branded Trash) officially now

    Hard to say if they just outright stole Canadas CityTV Breakfast TV logo
    breakfasttelevision.ca
    and coloured it in black and white or….
    The ad agency involved were even lazier and just took the R in the registered trademark logo and just changed the letters.
    Either way well done another few million p155ed away no doubt.
    Matches the company ethos now though i guess, evil overlord stamped branding. Obviously no research done on to what psychology colour has with regards to a company brand/logo.

  22. Avatar Jon

    You all realise the logo is white with the bt purple background right.

  23. Avatar Mark

    I personally think the one with the R/W/B man was the best BT logo

  24. Avatar Optimist

    Bring back Beattie!

  25. Avatar Barry Calms

    Should have just rebranded the whole business as EE. Why bother having separate brands?

    • Avatar Scotty

      There’s a simple answer to that. BT is a big significant brand globally and EE does not carry the same recognition outside the UK.

      On a further note – within the UK the two main brands cater to different customer types so there is perceived value in operating two separate brands.

  26. Avatar David Glass

    Cant help but agree with the first comment about how that black version might be used although it will be slightly modified to the black one we are seeing now.

    Waste of time and money.

    The current one is fine.

    Has McDonald’s ever changed its golden arches logo ? No it hasn’t, restaurants modified yes but not it’s main logo.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      I don’t understand the comparison to McDonalds?

      Are you saying that because McDonalds have never changed their logo no-one else should?

      Many Many companies change logos https://logos.fandom.com/wiki/Sky_Limited

    • Avatar Colin

      McDonalds have changed their logo – google it.

    • Avatar Still Branded Trash

      I would not call Sky or Mc Donalds logo changes anything significant. BT do not seem to be able to make up their mind, be it font choice, accompanying artwork or whether the logo should actually say BT anywhere in it at all.
      Considering Sky and Mc Donalds have also technically had more owners than BT over the years they have been trading it makes it even more funny.

  27. Avatar Stavr0s

    I guess its been quiet on the “proper news” front then!

  28. Avatar Billy

    I liked the logo of the guy blowing his own trumpet – very BT.

  29. Avatar James Harkin

    Bring back, Buzby! 🙂

  30. Avatar Adianj

    You know a company is on a downward spiral when they think a brand refresh will help them.

    Giving employees shares if they stay at least three years. This smacks to me as the first sign that this company really has nowhere to go.

    The Altnets are taking a huge chunk of the fibre connectivity market and they are not going anywhere in a hurry. The streaming services are taking the content market.

    What does BT have to offer, I know a new brand!

    BT you are going to need more than this I’m afraid.

  31. Avatar MiniBigTech

    Better yet, the companies that create and market them know exactly the experience they want you to have when you make (or consider) a purchase. Extensive variety of enterprises to make and build up their items and thoughts. Check it out click on branding and design services .

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