A Question

posted on September 20th, 2006 by Anthony

What is this?

Hmmmm

Is it:

  1. The new logo for a start-up health food brand
  2. The new logo of the Conservative Party (the political party in opposition to the Labour Government)
  3. The new logo of the Green Party
  4. A rough sketch done by popular gardener Alan Tichmarsh for his latest garden plus water feature
  5. Little Tommy’s crayon interpretation of his Mummy
  6. A tree

And the Answer is…

Somewhat unbelievably, b – The logo of the Conservative Party, the people who, the way things are going, will be back in charge of the country in a couple of years.

This is the whole thing:

Conservatives Logo

Now I bet some of you will be looking this logo and thinking “That’s kinda nice”, and you’d be right, it is quite nice.

I’m also willing to bet that 99% of the people thinking that live abroad and have no clue about the Conservative Party and what they are like.

History

Without getting too political and in depth about the whole thing the Conservative Party, or Tories as the are popularly known, are right wing party that are generally seen as the the party of the upper classes. I’ll leave it for you to make your own minds up about what that means.

Their last logo (which is only just 12 months old) looked like this:

2004 logo

Which has, as the Guardian describes it, “more than a touch of old-school Soviet kitsch about it, and with a high-kick of Springtime for Hitler camp added for good measure.”

That replaced this very similar one:

Older Logo

This is image is/was known as the “Freedom Torch” and was introduced in 1977 by Margret Thatcher.

You get the idea I’m sure – the new tree logo is a bit of a departure.

The Tree

I’m sure the Conservatives didn’t take the decision lightly, such a radical departure is a big deal – so what is their thinking?

Well a spokesperson said…

We consulted members across the country about our new identity. The values they wanted to see represented were strength, endurance, renewal and growth. We tested a large number of different images. The tree logo proved the overwhelming favourite.

The tree in question is actually an oak tree.

The oak tree was chosen because it represents solidity, tradition, friendliness towards the environment and Britishness.

So far, so good… but he then continues…

While the concept of the oak tree has proved popular, the portrayal chosen has aroused disappointment.

Some choice comments include:

It’s disappointing. It’s a really ugly thing. This looks like a smudge.

and

It looks like a three-year-old has been let loose with a crayon.

Oh dear, how predictable.

Britishness

Now you may have noticed in that statement from the spokesman that the “oak tree was chosen because it represents… Britishness”.

Unfortunately that’s not exactly true. It represents Englishness, which if you ask any Scot or Welsh… well, actually don’t, the more extreme of them will give you smack!

It’s a serious thing, and it’s something the Tories may have overlooked slightly.

Have no fear! They have an alternative… two in fact.

Welsh Conservatives

Scottish Conservatives

Taller Darker Green Squiggle and Even Taller Even Darker Triangular Squiggle.

Or Sessile Oak (apparently the national tree of Wales – who knew!) and er… well some sort of Pine I suppose, I can’t find the official name.

Hmmm

The Cost

Overall the Tories paid the agency Perfect Day £40,000 for these logos. Which, although a huge amount, is nothing compared to some of the rebranding you see.

What did the Tories get for their money?

Well, a nice looking logo.

I have to say I like it… it’s modern, fresh, contemporary, and conjures up really nice images of rolling green fields in the mind.

So… pretty much everything the Tories aren’t.

They got a nice logo, but it’s a nice logo for someone else – somebody completely different… like a tree society perhaps? Or the Green Party?

Hell, even a napalm manufacturer would be more appropriate!