Tory scribble harks back to 1960s Swiss design

No doubt most people will have seen the Conservative Party’s new symbol. Without discussing the merits of this new identity and whether it communicates the values the strategists are aiming for, I am amused that this scribble metaphor is being revisited.

I say this because the Conservative scribble is somewhat akin, may I say, to our own now famous Minale Tattersfield scribble logo, created way back in 1964 when it was founded. It was seen as a unique approach at a time when Swiss graphics were all the rage.

By the 1970s, we were concerned it was becoming a little tired and felt, as designers do, that we should perhaps reinvent ourselves – but we resisted. And, through the 1980s and 1990s, it became the perfect tool to exploit our brand. The endless creative puns for our promotional material made it instantly recognisable, an asset to the group both at home and abroad.

Proving the profundity of the founding members’ statement that ‘Good design lasts’, today it is sacrosanct, established over 40 years and never to be abandoned.

When in the late 1980s a company in Singapore used our ‘scribble’ in different colours, and to prevent other people infringing on copyright, we immediately registered it, hence the tiny registered mark that can be found top right.

How close the Conservative logo comes to infringing our intellectual property would make an interesting debate. Have we made the scribble a tried-and-tested approach for others? Who can say? But at least we have the satisfaction that our creative instinct took us there first.

Alex Maranzano, Chairman and partner, Minale Tattersfield, Surrey TW10 6UR

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