Occupy London crowdsources new logo


As many reading this will be aware, on Thursday morning Occupy London changed our logo. The image used up until then, which will we not reproduce here, was loosely based on the Transport for London roundel, a logo which has become synonymous with the city itself, a kind of colloquial visual shorthand for London and the city’s distinguished design heritage, which is widely understood as such worldwide.

The TfL roundel was originally commissioned in 1903 and has been used on London’s transportation systems since 1908. The design has undergone a number of revamps over the years, but the version Occupy London took influence from has been in regular use for at least 64 years, following the nationalisation of the London underground system in 1947. Harold Hutchinson, who was responsible for that particular refinement of the logo, did that work as the Publicity Director of a nationalised public corporation; a public servant paid out of the public purse.

Yesterday, Occupy London received the following email from TfL’s lawyers, requesting that we change our logo immediately or risk losing our facebook page – an essential means of communication for us which currently has over 30,000 likes.

Dear Sirs

We act for Transport for London (“TfL”) and we are writing in relation to your ongoing use of a version of TfL’s Red and Blue Roundel as part of the “Occupy London” campaign (“the Roundel”). This includes the use on your website at www./occupylondon.org.uk and on your Facebook page at facebook.com/occupylondon.

TfL has already been in contact with you on 20 October and 28 October in an effort to resolve this matter amicably. Unfortunately, TfL has not had any response (or even an acknowledgement) to its requests so far and it is disappointed that you seem unwilling to deal with this issue in a sensible way. TfL is not looking to disrupt your campaign but it has legitimate concerns which need to be addressed in order to avoid the need for further action.

In short, and as already explained, because of TfL’s rights in the Roundel and because it is a public funded and non-political body which cannot promote or endorse your campaign, you now need to cease using the Roundel and adopt a new logo.

Please confirm by return that you will cease using the Roundel (or any similar variation) in relation to the Occupy London campaign including, without limitation, on your website and Facebook pages.

If we do not receive a response by noon tomorrow, TfL will liaise with Facebook in order to seek the removal of the version of the Roundel being used on that site (at facebook.com/occupylondon). Please note that once Facebook is on notice that you are infringing TfL’s rights, it may decide to take down your Facebook page in its entirety. We therefore suggest that you arrange for the relevant pages to be changed voluntarily and in order that this can be resolved amicably.

Yours faithfully

Eversheds LLP

Twitter and independent ISPs typically put up a more robust response to legal threats than do facebook or google but on this occasion, as a gesture of goodwill, Occupy London have decided to accede to TfL’s request and change the logo used across our online media.

We welcome the opportunity this gives us to demonstrate the creativity of our on and offline communities, who we will be asking to help us find a new logo.

We also appreciate that, in these straightened times for all public bodies, TfL needs to safeguard its merchandising income, much of which relies on the exploitation of the body of classic design it has become the custodian of. We trust that the management of TfL will be as understanding of the needs of ordinary commuters who are now facing significant annual fare hikes.

Finally, we appreciate that TfL wishes to be seen as neutral and is “not looking to disrupt your campaign.” We trust that TfL would put up defiant resistance to any kind of political interference, be it in relation to our campaign our any other.

Anyway, enough of TfL: We need a new logo and we’re going to crowdsource it!

Here are our requirements.

Originality: Our new logo needs to be original. Images based on existing corporate logos or any variations thereof cannot be used.

Key messages: Our new logo needs to reflect what the Occupy movement stands for. Some key words that might help: democracy, equality, 99%, london, global movement, occupy

Colours: We welcome any colour combination, but our new logo should also look good in black and white so that we can use it on different coloured backgrounds.

Neutrality: Our new logo cannot resemble the imagery of any political party or similar institution.

File formats: We would prefer to receive submissions in two formats, as an esp. and a high-resolution jpeg.

Please send all your suggestions to logo4occupylondon@gmail.com. We are not going to specify and end date for submissions, but obviously we’d prefer not to be logo-less for too long…

Lend us your creative spark and help us create a better world!

© 2012 Occupy London
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