The British Council has shelved plans for a major redesign of its brand after a four-month review by Wolff Olins.
The wide-ranging review of the council’s operation has culminated in the decision not to make major visual branding changes. This has precipitated the departure of Johnnie Seidler, director of corporate brand development, who will leave next week.
In November, the council spoke of the need for more effective branding to strengthen its identity. It has now decided to concentrate on its offering rather than its visual identity, which will only be subject to minimal changes.
Paul Docherty, director of communications, says cost was one factor, but not the only one.
“We didn’t want to do a British Airways and change our visual identity ahead of our offering,” he says. “We decided that we would not go for a major makeover, but this was not a reflection on the competence or ability of Wolff Olins – it did everything we wanted.”
Docherty points out that Wolff Olins had been engaged to work on the visual identity of the British Council’s external website, and says it is possible the council will work with the consultancy in the future.
The council will now concentrate on honing its offering, targeting quality, focus and unity.
Docherty says the decision meant the expertise which Seidler brought to his role was not now required, and that his fixed-term contract was being terminated by mutual consent. Seidler himself was unavailable for comment as Design Week went to press.
A Wolff Olins spokeswoman declines to talk about the decision. “It’s for the client to comment,” she says.