CRAFT: PORTFOLIO: BDH Athletico

BBC graphics department alumni are fairly thick on the ground in UK commercials direction. Steve Burrell, John Durrant and Rob Hifle, collectively BDH Athletico, are among the latest to join the fray. They have so far delivered a clutch of punchy, energetic spots for the New Zealand Tourist Board, through Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy, and for the alcoholic water drink, DNA, through Summerfield Wilmot Keane. There are projects in the pipeline for Kellogg’s Frosties (J. Walter Thompson) and Melody Radio (Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury).

BBC graphics department alumni are fairly thick on the ground in UK

commercials direction. Steve Burrell, John Durrant and Rob Hifle,

collectively BDH Athletico, are among the latest to join the fray. They

have so far delivered a clutch of punchy, energetic spots for the New

Zealand Tourist Board, through Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy, and for the

alcoholic water drink, DNA, through Summerfield Wilmot Keane. There are

projects in the pipeline for Kellogg’s Frosties (J. Walter Thompson) and

Melody Radio (Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury).



’The move into advertising was a natural progression,’ says Durrant,

from Athletico’s base in Bristol. ’Our work tends to be ideas-led and we

enjoy working with other creative people, so it’s all going pretty

well.’ He pays tribute to their production company, the Producers, which

has been representing them for commercials since January 1996.



With two graphic designers and an illustrator on the team, their work

tends towards image-based vignettes, though they’re not bound to any

particular style. ’We have a variety of working methods,’ Durrant

explains. ’We’ll use animation, live action, 3D computer effects,

whatever it takes. We understand film techniques, we all draw, and we’re

all Mac-friendly.’



The trio continue to ply their trade in the TV graphics arena, working

extensively for the BBC and Channel 4 on stings, title sequences and

programme styling. Their on-screen graphics for Watch Out, on behalf of

the BBC’s Natural History unit, netted their third Royal Television

Society Award, and their title sequence for Poems on the Box potted gold

at D&AD in 1994.



Durrant is a great exponent of the ’Bristol scene’, pointing to a wealth

of creative talent in the city, including Aardman Animation. ’We all

share kit and share ideas,’ he says. ’Sometimes it feels like we’re

based on the M4, though, we spend so much time travelling up to

London.’



And where did the name come from? ’Well, we’re all heavily into football

- watching it anyway. We were going to call ourselves Armchair Athletico