Sorry for the title of this thread. I am speechless about this.

It seems the UK Arts council has had to sack many people in order to pay two ad companies eighty thousand pounds to come up with a new design for their logo.

The new design consists of their name, - words arranged as a circle, with the words ‘the’ and ‘of’ ommited, and in a pretty standard font (arial or something)

words escape me.

Perhaps you should have hired those ad companies to come up with a title for this thread. And maybe a decent rant.

Many people? How many salaries go into 80,000 pounds at the UK Arts Council? And this was a one-off expense, wasn’t it? What happens next year?

Regardless of what you think of the design (and considering you weren’t creative enough to come up with a thread title, perhaps you’re not the best judge of such things, hmmm?), ad companies are well paid simply because a good logo or slogan or catch phrase can be a tremendously valuable asset. Admittedly I don’t know what the UK Arts Council does, but I’ll wager that if this new logo catches on, their investment could be well worth it.

BBC News Link.

Lobsang, I agree the logo is bland. But it looks like this is just a case of restructuring.

Doesn’t sound too far off of how much we’d charge for a project like that.

Since you haven’t said exactly what part has left you speechless, I’ll step up to defend the ad companies.

A big part of determining the cost for design or copywriting work is where it will be used. If it’s just a background design for a information pamphlet about a sub-brand of ear drops for dogs marketed only in Liverpool, the cost may be only a few hundred pounds.

This, OTOH, is the main logo for the entire organization, which will be used throughout the UK and possibly overseas on every poster, flyer, TV ad, pamphlet, letterhead and souvenir shopping bag they produce (the fact that it’s a government agency may have added to it). Forty thousand pounds (for one agency) is at the high end of what we’d charge, but isn’t really out of the ballpark.

As for the simplicity of the design, if their selection process is anything like ours, the designers probably came up with dozens of ideas. Usually, the client gives a general overview of what they want, after which the designers present them with a broad range of possible directions. The clients discuss which ones they like and dislike, giving more feedback on which avenues they want pursued. This goes back and forth several times, with almost all ideas ultimately being rejected or abandoned along the way. Basically, this means that the client has probably looked at lots of different designs (especially since they used two agencies), and of all those, they liked the circle idea the best.

That said, I have to agree that their choice sounds pretty unimpressive. Some possible explanations:

A. The UK Arts Council is made up of a bunch of uncreative stick-in-muds who actually think they’ve chosen something dynamic and exciting.

B. The UK Arts Council is a bunch of petty, quibbling bureaucrats who couldn’t agree on anything and wound up choosing this design as the lowest common denominator.

C. Someone on the UK Arts Council owed a favor to someone at one of the agencies.

Personally I think they should have held a logo competition open to all UK artists. They would have gotten thousands of design choices, raised awareness among the public of their work, and saved a hell of a lot of money.

My speechlessness comes from knowing that my 6 year old niece could have come up with that design.

They paid two companies £80,000 for it!

I remain unable to express my… I can’t even think of a word for what it is that I am unable to express.

Kamandi your comments are noted. And I believe I am quite capable of coming up with a creative thread title. But where does it say I was required to?

I stand corrected - (by Ice Wolf’s link) - it’s £70,000, not £80,000.

I know next to nothing about the UK Arts Council – but here in my country, we have government departments spending vastly more than that sum basically every time there’s a change in political power in Parliament, and the “new brooms” decide it’s time for a revamp. Must be logo-itis. :slight_smile:

I can certainly understand th’ gobsmacked feeling. But it does sound like they’re aiming to simplify matters as far as their grants administration is concerned. Has there been much reaction of any sort, positive or negative, to the Arts Council move to have the new logo and restructure as they have, in the UK?

They spent that much on THAT???

That, in itself, is worthy of pit thread.

Actually, I have to sympathize with Lobsang. As I mentioned, I was laid off last August. At the time, my former employer was working on changing their name, and in October, I finally heard the new one. I admit I was biased, but I was still unimpressed. They laid me off, kept marketting, and the best marketting could come up with was this? If the job market weren’t so lousy, I’d be glad I was out of there.


I dunno, that logo looks like something that can be made on Word by a summer intern. It looks like something that WOULD be made on Word by a summer intern. It looks like something the intern would create solely because they didn’t want to put any effort into it. It looks like what you’d come up with as a placeholder for the real logo. That’s a logo all the other logos snicker at when its back is turned.

Unimpressed is the word of the day.

I agree, Lobsang–70 g’s for that? Even 70 quid would be paying too much. No one could seriously say that took more than an hour to put together.

But it seems that spending way too much on simplistic, uninspired logos or slogans is the British way sometimes. My ex-BIL in England worked at a company that had recently purchased three buildings. They held a company-wide contest to name the buildings, with top prize being a trip for two to an exotic holiday location. The winning names? (Name of Company) 1, (Name of Company) 2, and (Name of Company) 3.

“Made on Word by a summer intern”? Piffle. My six-year-old daughter, back when she was six, could have made that using Kid Pix.

One more vote here for “they spent seventy thousand POUNDS on that?”

Rant fully justified, title or not.

The design department here at SyphiliticDonkeyRaping Systems once spent a lot of (billable) time and effort on a “re-branding” exercise, which, after some months of intense effort, produced … a grey square with the company’s name inside it in white. (The company’s real name is not as interesting as the pseudonym I give it. Oh, and they dropped the word “Systems”, as the design department felt it wasn’t cool to suggest we had any level of technical knowledge).

Certainly, as Sublight says, a lot of time and effort (and, inevitably, money too) goes into these things … one has to wonder, though, whether this time and effort is worth while.

Well, there are worse things to spend the arts budget on. From this weeks ai newsletter (that’s “arts industry”, not “artificial intelligence”):

I am sputtering mad about this one. We’re not talking about subsidising people painting words on the sides of sheep here. Some of the organisations about to get the financial rug pulled out from under them are:


  • Graeae Theatre - a disabled person’s drama group
  • Cardboard Citizens – the only homeless people’s theatre company in the country
  • The Royal Court - the main producing house for new theatrical commisions in the UK
  • the Young Vic
  • the Hackney Empire
  • the Unicorn (which was just about to build a new theatre)
  • the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon (that the name of it, not the form of entertainment)
  • Hoxton Hall
  • Oval House Theatre, which does anger management work with excluded children and ex-offenders.
    Many of these are located in the worst areas of London and do extensive community outreach work (except for those which are themselves effectively community programs). The schools have been gradually cutting back on their arts curricula, and the government and local authorities have been pressuring local arts organisations to pick up the slack with education and community programming, and most of them have managed to do so despite the increased financial burden.

And now the ALG want to chuck all that and spend the money on football?!? I am appalled. :mad: :mad: :mad:

You’re telling me the ARTS council couldn’t have come up with a slightly more creative, more imaginative idea - such as holding a competition for student artists to design the logo - perchance? - and instead they spend 70 tons on that monochrome piece of shite?

Lobsang - I’m with you on this.

What a fucking piece of shite and waste of money.

just think of the amount of chinese take-out and beer they had to buy in order to justify that amount. maybe it was just a really big tip and then they had to come up with something (anything) at the last moment. did they have an itemized bill?

Colour me unimpressed.

What a piece of crap. I would have flunked in school if I had done something half as bad.

Actually, I like it. It is simple and to the point and accurately symbolises the fact that several different branches have joined together (being a circle and all). I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

The “fuss” is about the exorbitant cost of creating a design that looks like it took 10 minutes of fiddling with the Word Art function in MS Word. Simple is good. Expensive is not.

I like my 6 year old niece’s drawings. But I aint going to pay 70 ponies for them.