Johnson Banks is putting the finishing touches to a massive project aimed at updating Britain’s image in the British Council’s 900 classrooms worldwide.
Creative director Michael Johnson says: “I went to various British Council classrooms to assess what state they were in. The British Council is seen as a high quality brand and teaching English is a substantial business for it. But they wanted us to brighten up the classrooms.”
Images of Morris dancers, castles and roast beef will be axed from British Council posters in the classrooms, which span 109 countries. They will be replaced with contemporary shots of famous British footballers, architects, writers and actors. The work has been carried out specifically for the council’s educational enterprises division.
Johnson, together with four colleagues, has been working on the project for the best part of a year. The group has created 12 posters, three clock designs and 43 educational cards – all of which will adorn the British Council’s classrooms from the end of this month.
Johnson adds: “This is the first time anyone has tried to define what ‘new Britain’ is all about. We are trying to show how Britain has changed.”
He says that Johnson Banks has also been asked to come up with ideas as to how the classrooms could be improved physically. “We are working with the British Council’s in-house interior design team. The British Council wants to specify the perfect classroom,” he says.