Dull and boring are adjectives which, sadly but accurately, describe the Royal Institute of British Architects’ old membership forms. The RIBA itself is the first to agree, and to the institute’s credit, a redesign is underway.

Says Amy Chamier, head of membership development at RIBA: ‘Gone are the days when professional bodies could expect people to join automatically. This is true of all professional bodies, not just the RIBA. But as an institution which represents a design-led membership, it was important to us to improve all our contact literature.’

Chamier admits that the RIBA’s old contact literature was ‘profuse, confusing, visually out of date, unfriendly and lacking in any overall visual identity’. So Studio Myerscough was brought in to design new subscription packs and related literature with a view to clarifying the institution’s main messages.

The institute liked Myerscough’s first concept so much that the finished literature looks much like the original concepts. The colourways will change every year to enable RIBA staff to spot valid membership cards, which are being introduced from 1996.

‘People part with money to become members, so the contact documents have to give them a positive sense of the institute and also a sense of belonging,’ says Chamier.

A subscription renewal pack will be the first of the RIBA literature to feature Myerscough’s redesign, and comes out this week. Four recruitment leaflets incorporating application forms will be introduced at the beginning of next year and a welcome pack for all new members is also being developed.

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