The Department of Trade and Industry is believed to be discussing the pros and cons of a new identity and may call in Coley Porter Bell chairman Colin Porter for advice.
“This sensitive issue is being discussed internally and has a lot of support within the department,” says Alex Pratt, DTI exports promoter for North America.
However, a DTI spokesman flatly denies that a new identity is being discussed, and cannot comment about the type of pitch the department would conduct to select a design consultancy.
If a pitch happens, it will be keenly watched by a design industry which was infuriated by last year’s free-pitch for the Department for Education and Employment (DW 6 October 1995).
“If the DTI approaches this in a proper manner it could be beneficial, but not if it holds a free-pitch,” says Design Business Association chairman Jonathan Sands. “It could teach the DTI about design management, which would be beneficial to us all, as long as they don’t look at it as just a new coat of paint,” he adds.
Pratt approached Porter in the CPB chairman’s capacity as chairman of the DBA’s Design Effectiveness Awards task group.
“I asked Colin to advise and help me on this. There is a realisation at the DTI that something needs to be done and one of the weaknesses of government is the tendency to do things internally. I suggest we get the experts in to handle this project, but it is not my decision,” says Pratt, who has two months left of his two-year secondment to the DTI.
Porter is “awaiting the call” from the DTI. “Alex told me that I would talk to people inside the department about the implications of identity, so they could write a brief and choose who to use,” he says, adding “there is obviously a will to get this going, but nothing has happened yet.”
The existing DTI identity was created by Wolff Olins in 1988.