Lib Dem rebrand mooted after election rout

MP Tim Farron, who is tipped as a potential leader, referred to the party as “the Liberals” in a recent interview.



The Liberal Democrat party could be plotting a rebrand following its disastrous result at last week’s General Election, which saw the party return just eight MPs, down from 57 in the previous Parliament.

Speculation about a rebrand has come about after Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, who is seen as a potential future leader, referred to the party as “the Liberals” in a radio interview with the BBC.

Farron is tipped to replace former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who stood down following his party’s woeful showing at the polls.

The Telegraph says that any decision to drop the word “Democrats” from the party’s name would draw a line under the party’s links with the Social Democrat Party, which dates from the late 1980s.

It would also help the party capitalise on its long history and Liberal politicians such as Gladstone, Lloyd George and William Beveridge.

The modern Liberal Democrat party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party – which was founded in the 19th century – and the Social Democratic Party – which had split from Labour in 1981.

The Liberal Democrat “Bird of Freedom” logo was created by Fitch when the party formed and has received several slight updates over the years – including a reworking by Rodney Fitch & Partners in 1999.

In 2013 the logo was reworked again, with a new typeface and 3D shadowing effect added.

In a recent Design Week survey of political party brands, Kimpton Creative founder David Kimpton described the current identity as “ the most ‘designed’ of all the party logos”, while Brandhouse executive creative director Bronwen Edwards said: “It’s actually one of the most finessed and sophisticated of the bunch, but with its elegance is an air of fragility.”

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  • Tim Masters May 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

    When I first read the headline I groaned because I thought the LibDems were thinking about ‘rebranding’ purely in its feeblest sense as trying to change the party’s image and gloss over the pasting they took in the recent General Election. After reading the article though, it’s clear that there’s a more fundamental change in mind and I think they could be onto something. The Liberal party has a long and proud tradition; it pioneered free trade and small government, and laid the foundations for the Welfare State. A liberal philosophy runs through British society today. I would like to see the rebrand happen but at the same time would be sad to see the bird disappear.

  • julieta molina May 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    re: ‘…it’s elegance is an air of fragility.’
    It should read its elegance, not it’s elegance.

    • Angus Montgomery May 13, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks, changed

  • Merlin Duff May 14, 2015 at 9:34 am

    You aren’t actually talking about a Lib Dem ‘rebrand’ here — there core idea isn’t changing — they’re still the centre-ground and they’re still liberal. I’d agree however that there is a need to align their visual and verbal identities with this core idea — a name change and a new logo probably isn’t a bad idea if managed correctly.

    It’s one of the biggest problems in our industry; even we don’t understand our own professional vocabulary, so what chance do clients have.

  • Will Baxter May 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I’d love to rebrand a political party. Going to just ‘Liberals’ is a great idea. The new logo should be a black ‘Liberals’ in beautiful typography on a yellow background. Plus of course, add some intelligent twist somewhere in the typography.

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