Chartered Society of Designers launches new identity

The Chartered Society of Designers is rolling out a new visual language, including a sister brand for its planned Register of Chartered Designers.

New CSD brand hierachy
New CSD brand hierachy

The new identity has been created by Jamie Ellul of Supple Studio, who has worked with the CSD as an assessor for five years and was appointed to the projects on credentials.

The CSD is a membership organisation that promotes professional design practice. It is planning to launch a Register of Chartered Designers and has been granted power by the Queen to award the title of Chartered Designer and to maintain a register of those designers.

CSD chief executive Frank Peters says the Register will be set up early next year, with applicants ‘assessed against a framework of professional practice competence’. The CSD will be releasing further details of the Register next year.

CSD member's marques
CSD member’s marques

Ellul says, ‘Ahead of the register launch, the CSD wanted to tighten up its branding. It had the Minerva mark [which was redrawn by Chris Mitchell in 2011] but didn’t really have any wider language.’

Supple worked with copywriter Lisa Desforges to create a positioning based on ‘a watchful eye and a helping hand’ – aiming to position the CSD as the ‘guardians of design professionalism’.

A new logo lockup positions the Minerva as a guardian, watching over the CSD wordmark. Supple also brought the two-colour logo down to one colour, to make reproduction easier.

Brand guidelines
Brand guidelines

Fontsmith’s FS Emeric type, by Phil Garnham, has been brought in. This replaces Gill Sans and give the CSD ‘a more modern and human look’, according to Ellul.

A new brand hierarchy is being introduced with a colour-coded system to differentiate various membership levels.

Membership collateral features macro photography of members’ eyes, cropped to create a ‘C’ shape representing the word chartered.

Membership collateral
Membership collateral

Ellul says, ‘We needed strong imagery that wasn’t specific to one type of design – the eyes of members work well as it’s about individuality and ties in with the “watchful eye” strategy.’

The member’s marque has also been overhauled. Ellul says, ‘Now when members use the endorsement marque it’s in the first person and gives them more ownership.’

The CSD annual review has been redesigned, with Ellul saying ‘a strong infographic illustration approach was used to get across key messages about the organisation’s finances, activities and services in a simple way.’

Annual report
Annual report

The CSD Register has been given its own identity, which uses an owl logo. This is based on the owl that often accompanies Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and the arts.

Ellul says, ‘The owl struck me as the perfect companion marque with its obvious connotations of high-flying wisdom and vision.’

The new identity launched to CSD members at the organisation’s AGM, at which new CSD president David Callcott was appointed.

The identity is rolling out more widely in the new year, with a new website developed by BrandWidth set to launch.

Hide Comments (6)Show Comments (6)
  • Ben Turner November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Nice refresh, but I’d suggest the CSD has a bigger job to convince a profession that lost confidence in them years ago. Do we really have faith in the CSD’s assertion that they exist to serve the industry, as opposed to serving themselves? Designers may pay for the privilege of Chartered status, but a) is it meaningful and b) are the CSD the best organisation to guard that status?

  • Maxwell Davis November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Very interesting pointers Ben, looking forward to how and what they can help achieve.
    On another note, welcome back logo craft!

  • C G November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I’d disagree, when using ‘old’ symbols and marques I think it is the designers job to make it feel established and current whereas the above uses a ‘safe’ typeface which without the secondary text (‘I’m Proud to be…’ is that for a t-shirt!?) looks uncomfortable hanging off the marque.

    As for the ‘strong imagery/infographics’ the letter ‘C’ image treatment is misjudged and just comes across as a exercise in ticking boxes…

  • Tim harris November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Well I joined many years ago but left because I’m based in Birmingham and the CSD seemed very very London based with few opportunities to attend seminars In the second city or any other to be honest. Of course we all know that you can only contribute and design of your in London don’t we? I’d gladly rejoin but not if if they’re still London ego centric.

  • Steven Nicholson November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I could not imagine the pressure designing such a thing with so much on reflecting our creative, morphing industry… I don’t see anything new and exciting with the new mark and identity. The logo is very appealing despite it’s similarities to Bohemia Beer logo.

  • Ben Turner November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    On the identity itself: Why do we even need the owl? It seems the task to build value in 2 marques rather than 1 is unnecessary. And if I was ever to include the Chartered status on my materials, there had better be a version without the superfluous “I’m Proud to be a” text on it. I may well be proud, but I also espouse simplicity, especially on things like professional badges, so you’re forcing me to use a version at odds with that belief.

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