DCMS saves on unified identity

The Department for Culture Media and Sport is already claiming cost-savings on stationery bearing its new identity, which makes its debut this week after a two-year 79 000 project by CDT Design.

Civil servants within the DCMS have told CDT that printing costs for stationery will be 20 per cent cheaper than with the previous identity – a coat of arms.

News of the savings may enable the DCMS to avoid a repeat of last year’s tabloid outrage, which followed leaks of DCMS staff reactions to trial versions of the identity.

The saving is partly due to the fact that all department stationery will now be the same, whether it is from Culture Secretary Chris Smith, a DCMS minister or a civil servant.

The new identity aims to unify the department’s diverse interests under a single logotype, which features a square imposed on a swirl of colour. The initials DCMS appear in lower case in Jeremy Tankard’s Bliss typeface. This sets DCMS “squarely at the centre of creative thought”, according to a consultancy spokesman.

CDT Design director Mike Dempsey says the cost savings are partly due to the use of colour. A palette of 15 colours will be used as a backdrop to the logotype, which means individual applications will involve only one colour.

Though DCMS activities range from the arts to sport and tourism, the colours will be printed on stationery in batches of six, to be used across the entire department. “It makes the connection, what you might call ‘joined-up thinking’,” says Dempsey.

Dempsey says the final identity is very close to CDT’s original proposals, despite press reports last autumn that senior civil servants thought it was “childish”. He attributes the success of the project to the “personal” support of Chris Smith.

The first non-stationery application of the identity is on the DCMS tourism strategy document Tomorrow’s Tourism, to be published tomorrow.

Created by CDT and aimed at the tourism industry, the publication features illustrations by Chris Corr.

See News Analysis, page 8

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