Design Council unveils identity

The Design Council this week introduced a new identity, retaining its slogan style but with a new marque and typeface. Design is by Edinburgh consultancy Tayburn McIlroy Coates with typography by London team David Quay and Freda Sack.

A major element in the redesign is a square red marque containing the words Design Council in white. This, says Design Council design director Sean Blair, will work on its own or when it appears alongside the logos of the council’s partners in various ventures. He says the former identity by The Partners “lacked authority” when it was used “in other people’s environments” such as on conference platforms and joint publications.

The slogans are retained in some situations, but the content will be different, says Blair, incorporating factual data as well as aspirational phrases.

The logotype has been redrawn by Quay and Sack and Quay Sans is the typeface used throughout. Publication guidelines are being drawn up by Quentin Newark of Atelier Works.

The aim was “to heighten the council’s presence”, says designer Wendy Mather of Tayburn McIlroy Coates, which won the job following a credentials pitch. The old identity was “winning awards, but was not very strong” in various applications.

Blair describes the result as “evolved” from The Partners’ concept, “contemporary, but not designerly”. The new square marque creates its own “defensible space”, he adds.

The launch coincides with the publication of the Design Council’s corporate plan for 1996-9. Some 5.9m a year is earmarked for the council’s activities, including conduit funding to other organisations planning design-related initiatives. 250 000 is allocated for conduit funding in 1996/7. But the figure is expected to rise to 300 000 and 350 000 in 1997/8 and 1998/9 respectively.

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