Brighton’s Palace Pier in ‘absurd’ free-pitch

Designers in Brighton are outraged by an “absurd free pitch” being run by the town’s Palace Pier operator for a new logo.

The project was advertised in a local newspaper and at a subsequent briefing meeting designers were asked to submit a logo in just one week. That deadline passed on Monday. One logo will be chosen from a shortlist of four or five. Only the designer of the successful logo will be paid.

“We don’t know what we’re looking for, just that the current logo doesn’t reflect the pier’s image or attractions,” says Peter Clements, the pier’s general manager. “We understand that this is an unorthodox way of approaching the project, but we want to tap into the local creative talent.”

But Roger Rolfe, a designer who attended what he terms “the mass briefing meeting” conducted by Clements, says the project is being mishandled.

“Because they’re approaching the whole thing like children, they’re not being exposed to a reasoned or considered design approach. Their own approach is haphazard and unstructured,” says Rolfe. Several other Brighton consultancies were shocked by the free-pitch but were unwilling to comment.

There is no set budget for the project and payment is negotiable, but, says Clements, “we know we would have to pay a consultancy more than we would pay a final-year student”. The logo is part of a multi-million pound development plan for the pier.

Once selected, the logo could develop into a corporate identity project to be implemented on to literature and signs. Clements was expecting “a dozen or so of the 35 people” at the meeting to submit creative work.

See Letters, page 13.

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