An overhaul of the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills’ visual identity by Limehouse heralds a major expansion of the department’s remit.
The consultancy was appointed to the project following a credentials pitch against undisclosed competitors in autumn last year, and the new-look marque is to be launched on 1 April.
Limehouse has also designed brand guidelines and will implement the identity across stationery, signs, exhibition and promotional materials, along with on-line applications including an intranet and the website www.ofsted.gov.uk. The department’s name will be unchanged.
Ofsted, which was previously the official body for inspecting schools, has had its remit substantially augmented. Its responsibilities now encompass the regulation and inspection of day care and children’s social care, and the inspection of local authority children’s services, schools, colleges, teacher training, work-based learning and adult education.
As a result, the existing logo – the department’s name styled as if written in chalk on a blackboard – had to be updated to reflect Ofsted’s broader capacity, says Limehouse client director Will Dallimore. ‘We wanted to reflect that Ofsted is no longer just about education and schools,’ he says. ‘[The new marque] now represents the wide age range of people whose lives are touched by Ofsted.’
Limehouse undertook focus group research with staff, schools, parents and social care organisations, and this research showed that people wanted the department to be more human in its approach. ‘The brand has become slightly softer, warmer, and more people-focused,’ says Limehouse creative director Steve Hickson.
The consultancy is also commissioning a new image bank to reflect the department’s wider audience and has created a strapline – ‘raising standards, improving lives’.
The colour palette has also been updated to be ‘more lively and vibrant’, says Dallimore. ‘Previously, Ofsted majored in black and dark blue. We’ve opened up the palette and made it brighter and warmer,’ he says.
THE NEW OFSTED
• Comprises four inspectorates:
– The Adult Learning Inspectorate
– The Commission for Social Care Inspection
– Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Court Administration
– The Office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools
• At any one time, more than a third of the population in England uses the services that Ofsted regulates or inspects, according to the department