Our new Aberdeen City Council crest and branding has made its first appearance on our digital platforms today and you will begin to see it more and more in the weeks and months ahead.
When the crest was approved at the City Growth and Resources Committee it was on the basis of a phased approach.
Our website, social media and other digital platforms will be the first to benefit from the new and clearer visual identity. It will also be rolled out to include other assets – for example print material, signage and vehicle livery – only when these are due for replacement or reprinting.
This approach minimises any costs to the Council and was central to the decision to move forward with the branding.
At the time of the decision I saw debate on the Ideas Hub about the merits of the new branding and many of the comments related to costs – understandably given the focus on budgets throughout the organisation.
The design work was undertaken by our talented in-house team led by Keith Fraser, as part of their normal schedule of work, and therefore there was no spend on external agencies or consultancies. The roll-out, as mentioned, is being managed to ensure there is no additional expenditure. I hope that gives comfort to those who voiced concerns.
The refresh of the branding, with the new crest at its heart, was prompted by issues with the reproduction of the intricate existing crest – which can become lost when displayed amongst other partner logos and doesn’t always print well. Those are the technical considerations.
More importantly, the focus on accessibility is vital for the Council and there are very clear stipulations for visual materials. The new crest and branding applies those principles, with comprehensive brand guidelines being finalised and providing clear direction on a palette of colours and specific fonts to ensure material meets with our commitment to equalities. Accessibility for all of our customer groups is imperative, particularly as we move to a greater emphasis on digital platforms.
Information and guidance from Marketing and Design colleagues about how this will apply across the Council will be updated on The Zone. In the meantime there are no actions for individual services at this stage.
At a time when we are building the Council of the future, the new and contemporary identity also represents the evolution of the organisation and has been designed with digital applications as a priority. It is another piece in the jigsaw as the picture of our digital approach takes shape.
This is an important piece of work and I must thank everyone who has played their part. The design and development of a new brand includes an enormous amount of diligence and creativity – both of which have been to the fore in this project, demonstrating the in-house capability we have.
I’m looking forward to the new crest becoming a familiar sight throughout the Council and the city.