Episode #145
The Design of The Conservative Party

Subscribe: ITUNES | ANDROID | STITCHER | RSS FEED

In the lead up to the general election in the UK on June 8th, I’m doing a series of episodes about the design of UK political parties. Today’s is about The Conservatives.

Music and links from this episode

  1. Siamo Tutti Antifascisti by Monplaisir
  2. Radiasiya by Mystery Mammal

Line-by-line notes

  1. Yesterday I spoke about the design and branding of the Labour party
  2. I spoke about how they use the colour red, and where the red came from
  3. And I went through their logos, and spoke about some of their reasoning behind their logos
  4. I enjoyed doing it actually, a lot
  5. And in the lead up to the june 8th general election in the UK
  6. I’m doing a series of episodes analysing the history of the design and branding of the major UK political parties
  7. There’s something I didn’t mention yesterday that I want to mention today
  8. I’m trying to be as objective as I can with these episodes, as I’m not trying to influence your political opinion in any way
  9. I’m purely looking at the political parties because their interesting, and not for any other reason
  10. The only other reason I’m doing these episodes is so I can try and influence you to vote
  11. It doesn’t matter who you vote for, but if you’re a UK citizen over 18 it’s really important you vote
  12. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s get to looking at The Conservatives design and branding throughout the years
  13. This is AADA, and I’m Craig Burgess
  14. MUSIC
  15. Let’s start like we started last time, by looking at colour
  16. As Labour is red, the Conservatives are almost the exact opposite: they’re blue
  17. In really crude, childish terms, just the colour difference shows how different they are to other parties like Labour
  18. It’s a little bit like when the bad guy and the good guy in a cartoon always wear different coloured clothes
  19. It immediately and very obviously sets up a point of difference between the parties
  20. And that colour… blue… you can’t really go wrong with that
  21. You’ll see a million companies out there using the colour blue, because it’s a very safe colour
  22. It’s a very popular colour with banks and other things to do with money, because it means safety, and security
  23. It’s a colour that makes a lot of sense for a political party to use
  24. Because it’s used extensively throughout businesses that you tend to trust
  25. It almost automatically sets you up to trust a political party that is blue
  26. Blue also, is nearly always used to indicate a political party with conservative views
  27. But not always, because in america—as is a lot of other things—it’s the complete opposite
  28. In America, the democrats are blue, and the republicans (the conservative party equivalent) are red
  29. But america is the exception to the rule here
  30. So for The Conservatives in the UK, the blue colour makes a lot of sense, both as a political colour and as any business picking a colour
  31. It actually makes a little bit more sense than Labour’s choice of red, as red can be seen as quite a striking or negative colour to some people and cultures
  32. Blue is just safe, almost universally, around the entire world
  33. So that’s the colour blue, but what about that logo?
  34. Well, the Conservatives logo is actually pretty interesting
  35. I struggled to find the original logo of the Conservatives, but I found the one they used right back in the Thatcher era
  36. The torch logo, introduced in the Thatcher era, is a really strong statement of intent
  37. It isn’t like Labour’s original logo, that plays to the people
  38. This logo, the torch logo, was grandiose, and dare I say even a little bit pompous
  39. It reminds me of an olympics logo, or the logo for a Great Britain sports team
  40. It feels strong, and powerful, and a logo that you can get behind and be proud to wear as a pin badge
  41. In comparison to the Labour logo of the British rose, the British rose is a much more restrained and down to earth symbol
  42. It doesn’t have the same weighty intent behind it, and such an overt sense of power embedded in it
  43. Even the way that the hand is holding the torch reminds me of old Russian propaganda posters
  44. It completely sums up a strong character like Thatcher, and you can tell that it was almost invented for her and her ideals and how she thought the country should be ran
  45. Personally, I think the symbol is too strong, and it makes the Conservatives look like a baddie in a movie.
  46. and depending on your political persuasion, you might agree with that
  47. I can completely see though why, when David Cameron came into power, he unveiled a new logo
  48. In 2006 they introduced the now infamous “scribbled tree”
  49. And simple—some may say crude—drawing of an oak tree, showing strength and longevity
  50. It still gets across lots of the messages of the original torch, but in a much less pushy and shouty way.
  51. It’s much less propogandery, and much more…well…socialist feeling
  52. Also, the original logo they unveiled was actually green too, which to me smacked of a little bit of pandering to try and show they were trying to become more environmentally focused
  53. The green in the logo was a little too simplistic for me
  54. And then in 2010, they introduced the update to the tree, where they replaced the green with a Union Jack
  55. I always thought that adding the Union Jack to the logo was a direct response to parties like UKIP gaining popularity
  56. And in the same way they used green to show environment, this was another simplistic attempt to show the tories were nationalists as well
  57. Looking at their website
  58. Their website is very similar to Labour’s, in its simplistic design
  59. But whereas Labour decided not to use too much red on their site, the tories have used LOTS of blue on theirs
  60. Intriguingly, they’re also playing a different marketing game to what Labour are playing
  61. The Conservatives have constantly been pushing Teresa May, rather than the conservative party
  62. And also, they’ve been directly attacking Jeremy Corbyn, rather than the Labour party
  63. I don’t have much more to say on it other than that’s an interesting approach
  64. Whether it works or not, we’ll see come June 9th.
  65. MUSIC
  66. This was AADA, and I’m Craig Burgess
  67. Music featured in this episode was:
    1. Siamo Tutti Antifascisti by Monplaisir
    2. Radiasiya by Mystery Mammal
  68. For a line by line rundown of this episode go over to …/ep145
  69. That’s it for the politics for now, but I’ll be doing an analysis of a couple of the other parties over the nest couple o days too
  70. If you want more updates about my podcast, follow me on Twitter at craigburgess
  71. I’m back tomorrow

Support Ask a Designer Anything