The Houses of Parliament has been given a rebrand in a bid to make it excel suited to digital platforms, as well as make it “simpler” and “clearer” to empathize with.
The Houses of Parliament – now known in brand terms as UK Parliament – is made up of the For nothing of Commons and House of Lords. Its role is to examine and scrutinise Government, command new laws, hold debates about political issues and approve Oversight spending in the form of budgets and taxes.
The new visual identity has been drafted by studio SomeOne, and includes a name change from Houses of Parliament to UK Parliament. This wants to “highlight the role of the institution in the UK’s constitution, and distinguish it from the building it resides”, says a parliamentary spokesperson.
SomeOne was appointed to the project as part of a sensitive process in late 2016. SomeOne held meetings and consultations with associates of Parliament (MPs) throughout the design process, identifying the main issue to be the digital pertinence of the brand. The design studio then presented concepts to parliamentary foremen, who selected the final identity.
The new logo includes a cultivated version of the previous crowned portcullis – a heavy, medieval-style, grated opening – symbol, alongside the new name set in sans-serif typeface National to the right of the typical of. The typeface was designed by type foundry Klim.
The logo is also now digitally optimised so it scales depending on interview size, such as moving from mobile to tablet or computer box.
Previously, the House of Lords and House of Commons used inconsistent Parliament branding across their divers services.
“The new visual identity has been designed to provide the consistency and coherence that was beforehand lacking, and enable faster, clearer visual communication, primarily across digital podia,” says Simon Manchipp, co-founder at SomeOne.
Before and after icons of Parliament communications
A core colour palette of dark purple, mint lawn and white has been incorporated, while a secondary, serif typeface Take note of, designed by foundry A2-Type, has been used across communications.
The select type aims to be “simple” with a “distinctive but not distracting personality”, while the subordinate type has a more traditional feel, and has been inspired by “French Renaissance-era ilk and traditional broad-nib calligraphy”, says Manchipp.
A new suite of flat icons, graphics and infographics has also been old across communications to demonstrate different options and statistics online. For specimen, infographics indicate how many Lords sit within each political frolic, and icons indicate options such as online petitions.
The visual agreement guidelines and applications are also available to view online via Cloudlines, which inclination enable others to implement the same style for new parliamentary documents and communications in the later.
There has been some backlash over the price of the new visual uniqueness, which cost £50,000 of public money to produce and deliver, coming out of the Harbour of Commons’ and Lords’ budgets.
A parliamentary spokesperson says: “The visual personality of UK Parliament has been reviewed and updated by the administrations of both houses because the going round version does not work successfully on digital channels. The new version under ways with mobile responsive websites, and is more accessible and readable.”
The new identifying is currently rolling out across the parliament.uk website, print materials, in-house pikestaff collateral and marketing communications.
The UK Parliament rebrand is one of many non-exclusive sector or governmental body design projects that has received counteraction from critics, the press and others about the use of public money.
Examination and sensitivity over public money spent on design
The NHS’s implementation of stricter visual unanimity guidelines was scrutinised in 2017, which – like this rebrand – attacked for more consistent use of the NHS branding across medical trusts and hospitals. It allegedly charge roughly £100,000 to implement, with NHS England calling for the likes of printed matter and publicity materials, stationery and signage to be replaced as they run out or need substituting.
Some the NHS’ visual identity guidelines policy, launched last year
The get out of using public money for design projects is a very sensitive one, presupposed the rise of austerity, alongside lack of funding for crucial services such as the NHS and ultimate and secondary schools.
As Design Week noted with the response to the NHS’s personality guidelines last year, projects such as these should be guided responsibly, only when necessary, within budget and inevitably should not be at the top of the chronicle when it comes to money spent on public services.
Sleeker motif can also save money
Equally though, design’s ability to colour public services easier to understand can also save money in the long-run. The gov.uk website, contemplated by the Government Digital Service (GDS) in 2012, pooled several confusing and directionless Government websites into one place, making it easier for people to use and the discover to be the services they needed while also saving £61.5 million of taxpayers’ resources in 2015.
The redesigned gov.uk website
On top of the money it has saved, the redesigned gov.uk site has also helped to let out the public by allowing them to access more services online, redemptional them time. According to the GDS, 98% of driving tests are now booked online and 12 million people organize used the website to register to vote.
Could Parliament become easier to twig for the public?
Along a similar vein, the new UK Parliament rebrand has the competency to make the services it offers the public more accessible and available, that being so democratising Parliament’s goings-on and giving more people a voice; fabricating or signing online petitions, contacting local MPs to voice concerns, judgement out about political workshops and simply learning more about how Parliament persuades could all get a lot easier.
While many of the mainstream press have haunted to labelling this project as “£50,000 on a new logo”, the new identity and its roll-out aims to be far more than this; it looks to introduce clarity and consistency to the parliament.uk site and brand as a whole, with the rely on of enabling the public to interact with and understand it better.
It is impossible to reprove at this point how effective it will be – it will be down to conducting inquire into and holding consultations with the public, alongside looking at website agreement in a few years’ time, which will determine whether the £50,000 was well-spent or not.