No sirens or truncheons here: a minimal identity design for the Scottish Police Federation

I’d never really considered the branding of the police: their visual insignia to most of us is still based on fairly rudimentary props like helmets, sirens and the odd truncheon here and there.

There was no such cliched nonsense when it came to design agency Cause & Effect’s work for the Scottish Police Federation, commissioned to mark 100 years of the service that represents 98% of all police officers across Scotland in the ranks of constable, sergeant, inspector and chief inspector, police cadets and special constables.

“A lot has changed in that century, but its remit to represent all members in matters impacting welfare and efficiency hasn’t altered,” says Cause & Effect.

It was tasked with celebrating the century-long journey through designing a new identity, invite, book and event creative for an exclusive celebration held for 300 of the organisation’s members.

“The brand needed to be timeless – something that refers to its heritage, and would’ve worked as well in 1919 as it works in 2019,” says the agency.

As such, the look and feel were deliberately clean, minimal and classic, inspired by police badges and the black and white uniform. All designs used a bespoke SPF typeface created by Klim Type Foundry.

Cause & Effect designed letterpress printed invites for the event by Glasgow Press, each containing a limited-edition enamel pin badge.

“Our approach was to intrigue and pique interests while highlighting how exclusive the event was,” says Cause & Effect. “We created an oval dye cut-out to reveal and showcase the badge before the recipient opened their invitation.” Each name and address was handwritten by a calligrapher.

At the heart of the project was the creation of a 144-page hardback book, detailing the 100-year journey of the Scottish Police Federation. This used a trace dust jacket with black foil and a fabric hardback cover with silver printed foil text.

Finally, Cause & Effect created the event branding for the celebration itself, he’d at a hotel and featuring 10 custom built plinths and stands – following each of the chapters of the book – to take guests through the SPF’s 100-year story.

The entrance hall was created to appear like a miniature museum, showcasing the vintage badges, uniforms and police equipment and highlighting the organisation’s achievements.


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