LogoWatch exclusive In April last year, London design outfit FHD proudly announced it would be rebranding the UK's Office of Government Commerce (OGC) - the HM Treasury tentacle "responsible for improving value for money by driving up standards and capability in procurement".
FHD's MD Adrian Day trumpeted to the sound of whalesong: “We are seeing growing demand from clients for consultancy support that spans branding, strategic and stakeholder communications, and this brief from OGC and OGCbuying.solutions is a perfect example of the need for a more integrated, informed approach to branding. We have worked on a number of successful corporate branding projects in the past few months and this project is an exciting new win for the business.”
Catherine Hastings, director of communications at the OGC, chipped in with: “We were impressed with the integrated approach FHD had to offer, which combined expertise in workings of government.”
So far so good - nothing more exciting than some traditional Strategy Boutique Newspeak. However, the wheels came off this particular rebrand in spectacular style when the new logo was presented to OGC staff.
According to an inside source, the graphic had allegedly already been inscribed onto mousemats and pens in anticipation of its imminent deployment, but it took OGC foot soldiers around 20 seconds to realise why this particular bit of joss-stick-driven madness was going to end in tears (of laughter):
On dear, oh dear.* Well, at least it appears that FHD really does have expertise "in workings of government", as a quick 90 clockwise rotation reveals.
Quite remarkably, our informant suggested that, having spent the cash, OGC intends to roll out the logo anyway. Well, we contacted the OGC for comment, and a spokesman gamely explained: "The OGC is currently overhauling the design of its corporate materials following a new strategy and forward direction. As part of this, the OGC has been developing a new visual identity, one aspect of which is a new logo.
"The proposed version, which you have sent over, has been shared with staff, and is now going through final technical stages. It is true that it caused a few titters among some staff when viewed on its side, but on consideration we concluded that the effect was generic to the particular combination of the letters 'OGC' - and is not inappropriate to an organisation that's looking to have a firm grip on government spend!"
He concluded: "The new identity has been extremely well received, as it presents a very clean, uncluttered and modern identity."
The mind boggles. For the record, and in case you'd like to get your hands on a rebranded OGC mousemat, we gather staff have stripped the building of every example not nailed down, so check eBay later this week for your five-knuckle shuffle collectable. ®
*You're right - that's not enough "oh dears". Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...
Oh yes, we contacted FHD for a comment, but no one had got back to us at time of publication.