British Council reviews brand

Branding will take centre stage when the British Council’s 109 directors worldwide meet on Saturday to discuss the structure and remit of the organisation.

The British Council needs to brand itself more effectively at home and needs to put more resources into promoting design, according to a council report, just completed.

The British Council worked on the document with Wolff Olins. It concludes the first phase of a wide-ranging review of the operation which culmi-nates in the five-day meeting.

This will look to establish a broad direction and strategy for the organisation, which could be translated into new design concepts, working practices and management structures further down the line.

“The Foreign Office [which sponsors the council] is basically pleased with the job we’re doing and there will be no radical reinvention of the operation. But we are looking at our image in a broad sense, including how we deal with clients. We also want to hone down our remit, which includes focusing harder on the design sector,” says a council spokesman.

The spokesman says the conference is not strictly connected to the council’s bid to bring greater consistency of design to its offices and publications around the world. Johnson Banks recently created a series of literature for the British Council’s 900 worldwide classrooms and is working with its in-house team on new interiors concepts (DW 18 September).

However, the spokesman acknowledges that both initiatives are part of a broader drive to strengthen the British Council’s identity in the widest sense and will come together further down the line.

This includes the appointment of Tom Buchanan to the newly created post of director of brand and corporate development (DW 12 December 1997) .

Buchanan is currently acting director general, following the departure of David Dewry on 30 October. The spokesman says Dewry’s departure and subsequent replacement is unlikely to obstruct the review process.

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