Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rant du jour (colour therapy)

Here's a request to the new government:

Please bring back a sense of colour and life to Australia. Not in a 'oh wow, it's a brave new world' sense, but in a real, tangible and profitable sense.

I don't know how many of you have noticed (probably lots of you, since it's a Canberra kind of blog) that in the 11 years of grey old Howard, the public service went grey as well. Every government department was forced to abandon its individual logos and colour schemes, and to take up a plain government logo. Solid and dependable.

I'm not advocating a huge waste of public money. Let it happen slowly, carefully. But I'm sick of black and white signs, blue and white signs, silver cars, white cars, grey cars, black cars. And that bloody boring logo, everywhere in Canberra.

Let the departments have a makeover; give some graphic designers some work (not me, thanks), and let the country's government look fresh and colourful. Make up some fun names for things. It's all symbolic. Bring back a sense of fun. Then maybe that will encourage people to start revamping their own lives, and making things sustainable and effective.

New broom, and all that. Let's make it so that anything standard and boring is just 'so Howard' in a very negative sense.

As you were.


Lost in a reverie... said...

Yes! We can only hope, but the midnight purge of J&J Howard's furniture from Parliament House is a promising start.

twitchy fingers said...

A couple of years ago I would have whole-heartedly agreed with you. But there are advantages to the 'one logo fits all' approach. I worked in PR for a Government department and with our generic name and interesting logo people always thought we were a lobbying body.

As Canberrans we are pretty aware of the mechanics of Government, but for the rest of Australia the delineation between local, state and federal is not always clear cut. Having a standard name and logo means that people outside of Canberra (ie most of the country) know when they are being communicated with by the Government.

Having said that, I agree that certain government organisations like the Bureau of Meterology and CSIRO etc can and should be able to be distanced from the Feds by using their own logos.

lucy tartan said...

The more symbolic separations between pre-Nov 24 and post-Nov 24 Australia and Government can be drawn, the better.

Twitchy - I guess you know whereof you speak - but people outside Canberra were smart enough to vote the bastards out, maybe they will surprise us with their intelligence in other ways.

Bernice said...

Gotta agree with the notion that the more we symbolically separate ourselves from pre 24th, the better. & I would have thought that the departmental branding was what mattered - the wee twee Coat of Potential Ecologically Sound Food Sources was quite enough to inform most as to its federal branch of governance?

I shall resist the temptation to suggest Dept of Enviroment having a Simpsonised Peter Garrett in a koala suit...

The Worst of Perth said...

I'm for individual logos. Government departments almost always choose the worst possible option and that is always more interesting.

infoaddict said...

Long-time lurker here, just had to respond ... (we have Canberran people in common and that's how I found your blog, don't panic; I'm not stalking or anything scary).

You took the words right out of my mouth! (And I've been saying them for some years now). Blue, grey and white are my _least_ favourite colours and it's bad enough that I have to stare at them on a damn computer all day without having to try and navigate bland, sameol'-sameol' websites to find information.

Colour is there for a _reason_, O Deities Of Departmental Information Flow. One orange highlight or a combination of purple and red isn't going to suddenly make your department seem facetious, and it actually makes your information easier to read. It's the troof.

The (internationally known and vaguely respected) company I currently work for actually uses purple and orange (or red) and white for its communications, and my joy at seeing this combination on a daily basis is one reason I'm determined to stay here!

I wonder if we could persuade Mr Rudd into more colour than merely his (sometimes eye-watering) ties? Maybe a deep aubergine suit as a start???

lucy tartan said...

Rudd's ties are so Quincelander, aren't they?

seepi said...

Yeah - bring back the individual logos - the crest can stay optional - it always used to be optional.

I worked for a govt organisation for kids when they brought in this logo gumpf and it was ridiculous trying to stick the stupid govt logo all over colouring sheets and cartoon posters and the like.

chosha said...

While I take twitchy's points above, I was disappointed when the federal depts went to 'one logo fits all'. Different logos (with different colours) help people who are illiterate to know where their mail is coming from so they can figure out who to talk to in person. It also helps people who are seriously visually impaired (but have some sight).

And it's more cheerful!