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BBC Weather Symbols – The Return

Posted by Mike in weather

BBC Weather beta site

BBC Weather beta site

I was pleased to get contacted a little while back by the guy in charge of the BBC Weather website – among other things he wondered if I’d seen the new beta site, and the fact that the BBC Weather Symbols were making a return. For some reason it feels like the symbols have been gone for ages, but they’ve really only had about 3 years in the wilderness (they’d lingered on the BBC website for a few years after the 2005 relaunch, and only got replaced on the 2008 beta site).

And there they are – back again, just like an old friend!

By the looks of things they’ve had to be tweaked a bit to cope with appearing on white backgrounds, so they have made two sets depending on the background colour. Consequently white clouds appear as grey clouds from time to time, depending on where they sit. I’ll be honest – I think that’s a bit of a shame, and particularly problematic over that map, but hey – they’re such classic icons that it’s just nice to see them back. And it is a beta site after all, so I’m assuming it’s still very much ‘work in progress’.

For the true weather symbol fans, it looks like there’s a new icon for ‘drizzle’ that didn’t appear in the original set (it always used to be single raindrop, same as ‘light rain’ – now it’s a sprinkling of tiny dots). Other weather types like ‘fog’ and ‘mist’ look like they’re staying as plain text.

weather symbols (night)

weather symbols (night)

Also, and a bigger departure from any of the previous symbol ‘relaunches’, they seem to have introduced a complete night-time set with a crescent moon. Funnily enough, I did exactly the same when I designed the first of my own new royalty free weather icons a few years back, and the BBC team seem to have chosen an almost identical moon phase to mine.

Nice one!

Anyway, there they are. And a very welcome development too.

As always, I’m sure the BBC Weather symbols remain the property of the BBC and they would be unlikely to allow their use elsewhere (although I’ve come across several places where they are being used fairly indiscriminately for profit).

But if you are looking for similar ‘classic’ TV-style weather icons maybe for iPhone or iPad apps, or websites of your own, and you don’t want to risk copyright infringement, then I have an ever growing range of royalty free symbol sets available for download. The ideal guilt-free alternative to ‘borrowing’ the BBC ones.

Oh, and if you’re looking for the ideal Weather Gifts for Christmas – why not check out the range of classic weather symbol t-shirts and hoodies – there’s something for men, women and kids over at the ‘Classic Weather Icons’ Spreadshirt store. You can choose from a range of symbols and also choose the colour of your t-shirt or hoodie. Great fun!

weather gifts

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