Ceefax – still alive?

So I woke up very early Saturday morning to watch the qualifying session for the Korean F1 GP, so I switched on the TV, which was left on BBC 2, and I saw Ceefax on my screen…

Now, apart from the obvious sign that seeing BBC 2 showing Ceefax obviously meant I was awake too early, but what about the digital switchover? Wasn’t this meant to be the end of Ceefax, being an analogue service?

Well, apparently the end is nigh, being October 24th. To read a summary of Ceefax and why it was so popular with many, click here.

Now from a design point of view (well this post wasn’t just to advertise the death of Ceefax you know… :P) I have to say that I find it very interesting how the design works, being very simple and blocky with the black background and coloured dots that were designed for a bygone era when resolutions were much less.

I also found it much easier to read and take in the information at a glance, probably because many digital ways of getting information on the web for example involve so many distractions such as adverts or links to other articles that may or may not be of interest. As my tutors are quick to remind our Graphic Design group, things are sometimes better when they are simpler.

Maybe there is a door open to a digital version of Ceefax that draws on the visual qualities of the old system making it easy to read, but is able to carry a greater quantity of information…

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