Ditch the pigeon? – from our archive

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderLiberal Democrat Voice has a fantastic archive of posts going back to our establishment in 2006. Here’s an interesting article from our founding editor, Rob Fenwick, which was published in September 2006. You can read the post in its original form, with comments, here:

Iain Dale has seen the Tory logo future, and it’s… scribbled.

Some months ago I was sat in a pub in Bath, with a friend who was hovering on the brink of becoming a Liberal Democrat party member. He’s on board with our policies, believes in personal liberty, cherishes civil rights. A natural Lib Dem. “There is just one thing I wish you guys would change, though”, “what’s that?”, “your stupid logo – what’s that all about, then? it’s been around for ages.”

Libby. The Bird of Liberty. In her day she was young, thin, and beautiful, then time passed and she put on weight, and there were even rumours she had passed on.

Ed Davey is creating a Liberal Democrats “communications agency” of ad men and women, and marketeers. Put two or more marketing people in a room together and their minds will turn to thoughts of logos, so I fully expect the communications agency will turn their attention to ‘horizon scanning a comprehensive realignment of the Liberal Democrat brand identity as part of a marketing and communications strategy aimed to be synergetic with the 25th century’.

The Conservatives have their torch and tree, Labour have the rose. Both of them like squares too.

I’ve never been a fan of hunting, but if Libby is to be shot – what would you replace her with? Feel free to write suggestions in the box below, or in the private forum. If you go so far as to draw something and want to share it with the world, [email protected] is the place to go 🙂

A few months later there was another post on the matter and then there was an official poll on the matter of the “pigeon”, and the result was firm in rejecting the idea:

Yes!: 23% (54)
No!: 77% (179)

Total Votes : 233

On an allied subject there was also a brief post in 2007 about the possibility of the party ditching the colour gold.

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26 Comments

  • John Tilley 30th Jul '15 - 2:22pm

    So long as it is not a small Orange Book or a Dead Duck, most of us will probably be happy with a replacement.

  • (I’m not much of a Libby fan…)

  • @John Tilley

    How about a Duck a l’orange Book?

  • A penguin?

  • John Tilley 30th Jul '15 - 3:36pm

    ATF
    Very appetising but not good when served cold.

  • Conor McGovern 30th Jul '15 - 4:51pm

    I like the phoenix idea.

  • Ruth Bright 30th Jul '15 - 5:19pm

    We must never ever ditch the Pidgeon.

  • Mavarine Du-Marie 30th Jul '15 - 5:32pm

    It is has been heard time and time again by the electorate. That when they have just gotten used to identifying with a brand image and can equate its message to their own value, which as a consist message to them of assurance of worth, someone somewhere want to pay some marketing executive a lot of money to change it. The only the elect hate is change for change sake.

  • Stephen Hesketh 30th Jul '15 - 5:40pm

    In a more serious vein I too am a phoenix man.

  • Richard Stallard 30th Jul '15 - 6:02pm

    I thought it was a seagull about to swoop down and pinch my hot dog.

  • Richard Underhill 30th Jul '15 - 6:20pm

    As the first person to speak about the logo at federal conference i stick with my view
    “The new logo represents the situation very well, because in this party we put Liberty above all”
    The motion to Free John McCarthy was carried.
    The BBC noted that the Liberal Party had campaigned on “Freedom First”.

  • Richard Underhill 30th Jul '15 - 6:27pm

    What was even better was that John McCarthy was freed.

  • A ladder

  • The phoenix is fine, perhaps the least of our worries. My only suggestion is to authorise the use of its mirror image as well.

  • Yesterday our English by election results were very bad. Shows the extent we have to get going. The test of popularity is how well the vote holds up or moves forward when in third , fourth or fifth place. We appear to have completely failed that test. Whether we have a new logo or not will have little or no impact on this situation. Question, why have logo’s?

  • Matthew Huntbach 31st Jul '15 - 12:26pm


    Ed Davey is creating a Liberal Democrats “communications agency” of ad men and women, and marketeers.

    I hope people can now see that was part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  • John Tilley 31st Jul '15 - 1:44pm

    Matthew Huntbach 31st Jul ’15 – 12:26pm

    “…a Liberal Democrats “communications agency” of ad men and women, and marketeers.
    …… that was part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

    As so often Matthew, you have hit on the truth.
    That was a major part of the problem.

  • If we’re going to re-brand in needs to be an extension of a wider programme of change or refocusing of our identity. Recognition of our brand identity is pretty poor with the electorate as a whole anyway so I doubt if more than a handful of people would notice a logo change or broader changes to our identity outside of the membership. But if it was part of a wider refocussing of our identity lead by Tim and others at the top then it might be worthwhile since it would be a clear break from the past and help to move us on from defeat.

    The problem with any of this for liberals is that communications of any kind have to be lead from the top by one or two or a small group of people to ensure they are simple and accessible and we’re often a bit rubbish at that thanks to our love of committees for anything and everything. Also because we often won’t or can’t pay for the senior level staff we need to do these things properly.

    A pheonix would be fine but the risk is it could date very quickly since it references a very specific time period or it could help to trap us in a never ending narrative of recovering from near extinction.

  • Mavarine Du-Marie 31st Jul '15 - 2:47pm

    CQ 31st Jul ’15 – 2:03pm
    “Recognition of our brand identity is pretty poor with the electorate as a whole anyway so I doubt if more than a handful of people would notice a logo change or broader changes to our identity outside of the membership.”

    ******************
    I disagree. And will add this information:
    “A poll of branding experts carried out by EMR declared the Libdems party, currently gathered for the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham, to have by far the best logo of the three main parties. Use of the liberty bird was praised as easily recognisable and appropriate branding linked to a guiding Liberal Democrat principle – freedom.”

    Weblink: http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2011/09/19/lib-dems-have-best-party-logo

  • Richard Underhill 31st Jul '15 - 9:56pm

    For all the money they have it is surprising that the Tories are so rubbish at logos.
    There was the ice cream, or was it a flaming torch?
    There was the colour change from blue to green, Tories green?
    There are a few brush strokes, leaning to the right, of what might be a tree.

    By contrast Labour’s red rose was copied from the French Socialists by Peter Mandleson.
    Party leader Neil Kinnock told him to shorten the green stem, and genuinely seems to have thought that would happen.
    They still sing the Red Flag occasionally, so they continue to present a blurred image.

  • Neil Sandison 1st Aug '15 - 8:53am

    The bird of Liberty rising from the flames like a phoenix works for me.

  • Helen Tedcastle 1st Aug '15 - 1:06pm

    The last thing we need is a long winter talking about logos and branding. The logo is just fine – it’s not a pigeon but a rather thin phoenix. (or so I thought). 🙂

  • Matthew Huntbach 1st Aug '15 - 5:54pm

    Helen Tedcastle

    The last thing we need is a long winter talking about logos and branding.

    We need to stop thinking about political parties as consumer brands. It isn’t working and it isn’t appropriate.

  • Richard Underhill 1st Aug '15 - 6:23pm

    “The last thing we need is a long winter talking about logos and branding. The logo is just fine”

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