After bemoaning the quality of the new Amber Valley Logo yesterday, I took a look at neighbouring council logo’s, to see what they are offering.
So here is my tour of Derbyshire via the medium of council logo’s starting in the south…
For me it’s starting on a high, South Derbyshire District Council stick with a traditional coat of arms with a couple of big cats as supporters.
I like: As coats of arms go, it quite simple and the green is great
I don’t: It’s pretty tricky to scale down
Derby City Council
Derby has a very abstract logo. It’s one I like, quite a lot, I think it’s a stag and ram, which has been smartly taken from the coat of arms.
I like: The abstract logo
I don’t: The colours grate and the type doesn’t seem part of the whole
Erewash Borough Council
As we head to Erewash, things go down a bit. Again they use a coat of arms, but it’s rather garish colour wise, and there’s been seemingly no effort to integrating this with the wording, which surrounds and overcomes the coat of arms completely.
I like: Nothing
I don’t: Everything, the coat of arms isn’t very charming but it’s completely ruined by the ham fisted application of the type.
Amber Valley Borough Council
We came here yesterday, so I won’t go over old ground.
I like: Helvetica
I don’t: Most everything else in particular the A, the swooshes and the width of the letter spacing.
Derbyshire Dales District Council
Back in business, I really like this one. It’s a good green, very grassy, and the lines forming the 2nd hill are exceedingly cool. Really modernist.
I like: The colour and the hills
I don’t: To be fully modernist, I’d like to see a humanist serif font rather than the serif one they’ve used.
Bolsover District Council
Bolsover have dipped to our lowest point. It’s almost none design. Some letters with a swoosh. I even dislike how the ‘District Council’ sits below Bolsover.
I like: N/A
I don’t: The swoosh which is such a low design solution, the colours, the red is pink and the blue too purple
Chesterfield Borough Council
I’ve a certain place in my heart for Chesterfield, as I attended the college there. I do like the logo, which is a representation of the towns church with it’s famous crooked spire.
I like: It’s simplicity, it could be Chesterfield without any writing
I don’t: I’d like to see some more space above and below the lettering and a little more care could be taken on the tracking
North East Derbyshire District Council
North East Derbyshire, what have you done? Yep orbiting swooshes. Such a let down. Plus it surrounds that NE, with some kind of flag influence.
I like: The colours
I don’t: The naff swoosh and the unexplainable NE thing, especially how the E flag bit cuts into the N
High Peak Borough Council
High Peak have made the effort to keep the coat of arms but update it. On the whole it’s succeeded. The stags are clear and an nice representation. It goes a little down when it’s added to the lettering.
I like: The attempt to update the coat of arms
I don’t: The crest at the top is the weakest part of the transfer, the application of the lettering lets the whole thing down, especially the ‘working for our community’ in kidprint or comic sans, which almost pushes it to the bottom of the pile.
Derbyshire County Council
Finally, after the tour finishes, we need to look at the County Council logo. And for me it’s a good one. The D reminds me of ploughed fields and the letting is nicely tracked.
I like: The D, which is superb
I don’t: The colour, purple’s not my favorite, and when applied to their peachy orange vans, it get worse
Well a mix, fails for Amber Valley, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire. Those who’ve stuck with coats of arms have played it a little safe. These give some gravitas to the councils, in particular South East Derbyshire, whose coat is good to start, but those who have taken a punt and updated in full seem to be my faves. So a beer for Derby City and Derbyshire Dales.
This article is the first in a series of 3 articles about local authority branding that first appeared in 2011 on the Derby Graphic Design site, they find a more comfortable home here on Logocurious.