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Brighton, England

Flying the flag

Andrew Mitchell, the International Development secretary, has unveiled a new logo that will appear on overseas aid provided by his department; be it grain packets, schools or water pumps. Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

There was a previous logo which cost £100,000 to develop which said ‘aid from the Department for International Development’. We are replacing this at no cost with a flag that is identifiable all around the world to everybody and which says ‘aid from the British people’, which is what it is.

In addition to the new wording, inspired by that of their American counterpart, the government’s coat of arms has been replaced with the Union Flag – something Conservatives are all too happy to wrap themselves in:

The original and updated logos.
The original logo from 2009 and the updated version.

The new logo is certainly simpler and more direct, and rightly credits British taxpayers (or at least those who pay their tax) rather than an obscure government department.

That it cost nothing to develop is all too evident though, and the reliance on a Swiss typeface (a direction the new single government identity appears to be taking as well) is a little ironic. The typeface used in the previous identity wasn’t much better, but at least it had some personality. I’m really not sure why it wasn’t maintained in this realignment.