Vox pop

With elections looming, what can design do to promote or enlighten the country’s political parties? What recent ‘creative’ initiatives from the political circuit have left a powerful or lasting impression on you?

‘For Labour – not a lot. The current leadership has lost the trust of the electorate. Spin has been exposed, and created a society that is cynical of sound bites, politicians and promises broken. This cynicism manifests itself in low turnout for elections, declining membership of political parties and a public that has become apathetic and disconnected from politics. Design should have a central role in re-engaging the electorate with real issues, in creating cogent communications and giving true reasons to believe. For this to succeed trust needs to be re-built and the “political brand” delivered with real saliency, consistency, and – above all – with integrity.’

Paul Stead, Chief executive, The Brewery

‘Politicians should make more use of the “creative process”, which encourages designers to listen, think and then make informed decisions. Culture Online, an ambitious and sometimes controversial Government initiative, aims to bring together cultural organisations with cutting-edge technical providers to create inspirational digital projects. As the first projects launch I look forward to seeing the imagination and creativity of these two industries working together.’

Nikki Barton, Creative director, Nykris

‘Politicians can be very creative with the truth. That always leaves a lasting impression. Maybe it isn’t design that will enlighten but words. Imagine if all politicians had some rules to follow on the written and spoken word. No longer would they get away with those rambling speeches; focus and brevity would be the order of the day. Nor would we have to suffer on Newsnight the “five-minute answer that isn’t an answer”. Clarity and frankness would be the preferred direction.’

Mark Smith, Creative director, Start Creative

‘I can’t really remember any political party campaigns. They seem to borrow clichés from commerce and then use them to advertise against each other. What I can remember is a consistent quality of sneering. The opportunity that exists is to take the millions of window stickers and bumper stickers and, instead of using them to tell you neighbours who you support, use them with wit and style to make political points.’

Michael Wolff, Brand consultant, Michael Wolff &


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