Stop! Police

This mysterious project – which purports to be a rebrand of the Russian police force – has been causing some debate on design blogs over the last couple of days.

Politsiya car
Politsiya car

It’s hard to tell if it’s a live project or not. Despite the creation of an official-looking site at, the whole thing has a distinct air of a mock branding exercise.

Politsiya car

And so it turned out to be. Design Week got in touch (via translator) with Smart Heart, the Moscow-based consultacy behind the work, who revealed that the project is a self-initiated proposal, but that they are in talks with the Russian police to see if the work could be taken forward.

Politsiya car
Politsiya bike

Smart Heart decided to initiate the project after the Russian police changed its name in March from Militsya (militia) to Politsiya (police). The consultancy says the name change has ‘caused a fair amount of controversy due to the absence of real change.’

Politsiya car
Our cyrillic isn’t great, but this means ’police’ and do not cross, presumably

As there was no visual communication to support the name change, Smart Heart has worked up a chevron-based system in Russia’s national colours.

Politsiya car

This branding has been applied to touchpoints including official documents, police-station signage, incident tape, eco police cars, and ads.

Politsiya car
File on Design Week’s activities

The consultancy even worked up architectural designs for new police stations.

Politsiya car

Smart Heart art director Yuriy Mihalchenko says, ‘We’ve used the three colours of the national flag – the colours of our country, making the brand more dynamic and closer to how police are hoping to run things. Something more effective for all of society.’

Politsiya car
Hide Comments (8)Show Comments (8)
  • Simon Manchipp November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I’m writing this sitting in St. Petersburg.

    The branding looks promising.

    They should do it!

  • Jake Jennings November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Clean, efficient and simple. Looks great!

    I can’t think of any other police service with a brand language (the undiscovered market as a ‘taken for granted’ / ‘no competition’ sector) and at a time when our own police are going through so many negative changes this could be a change that brings the force together and establish something to be proud of.

    Now for the british services…

  • Richard November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Nice work, I’m sure that if the agency pays the ‘right people’ this could become a live project…

  • Anthony Sweeney November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Jake – Take a look at Studio Dumbar’s work for the Dutch Police Service. Now knocking on for 20 years old it still looks fresh and exciting.

    Unlike this.

  • Michael Boeck November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The point was made by Anthony, Studio Dumbar’s work on this was clearly the ‘inspiration’ here. The decision on which design to copy seems to have been based on who’s national colours are closest to the russian flag. Definitely not in the revolutionary category.

  • Anthony Sweeney November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I love the fact that even in the 21st century the word ‘dynamic’ is still being used as a carrot for the client!


    I also feel that the rebrand from Militia to Police is a bad move. Sounds too fluffy.

    How about Ultimate Justice Force of Doom?

  • Anatoly Vyalikh November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It looks quite well, but this new brand identity is not clever enough.

    For example, there are a lot of different departments in Russian police, all of them have different names, functions. This brand identity does not show anything about this. It looks too childish. Also author didn’t thought that there should be very detailed brand guidelines, which should be understood by any policemen in any part of Russia, including villages.

    So it need more development.

  • tbk November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It is odd that the “white” isn’t white as in the flag but a sort of ivory – that gives the impression of a “dirty flag” ….

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