Michæl McFarland Campbell

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Police Service NI – a sensible rebranding

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Having grown up with the police service in Northern Ireland known almost universally by its abbreviation of RUC, for Royal Ulster Constabulary, it was probably inevitable that its successor the Police Service of Northern Ireland would become known by its four intial letters, the PSNI. I am pleased that the Chief Constable has said that he wants the service to be rebranded as “Police Service NI”. It puts their role back to the forefront of their brand. I think that is very important.

Agreed in 2001, the badge of the Police Service of Northern Ireland,

features a Saint Patrick’s Cross surrounded by six symbols – a harp, crown, shamrock, laurel leaf, torch and scales of justice.

BBC News, “Board Agrees on NI police badge”, http://news.bbc.co.uk/ [accessed 2020-06-06]

Whilst the rebranding of the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police Service of Northern Ireland was painful for many in Northern Ireland, this rebrand should be painless.

Chief Constable Simon Byrnes said:

Policing is so much more than an acronym – which is why our brand review is focussing on using ‘Police Service NI’ as opposed to ‘PSNI’. Our current brand is simply the crest and we aim to enhance this to better reflect the breadth and depth of what we do and to improve our connection to our communities.

“We are keen to bring consistency and a fresher look to the Police Service NI brand and imagery across our digital platforms, publications, building signage, livery and our website. Alongside this, we are reviewing our uniform and our vehicle fleet signage. It is important to highlight that we are not changing the crest or the name of the Service as both are representative of the service we deliver and are set in law.

“We have already briefed the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Justice Minister and the Police Federation on our plans and will be starting a consultation process over the summer months that will continue into the Autumn to get your views before returning to the Policing Board with an update on the final proposals.

Police Service NI, Chief Constable introduces draft visuals for new Police Service NI branding, https://www.psni.police.uk/news/ [accessed 2020-06-06]

I notice that in the reversed version of the proposed new brand, the name of the organisation has been removed from the circle around the badge. I presume this is because the name is alongside the badge. The symbols that are so important to the badge are now clearer in the white version of the badge so I hope that this rebrand will get the support and go ahead following consultation.

Rebrands often seem to cost huge amounts of money, I am glad to hear that all work done thus far has been done by the inhouse designer so thus far it is cost neutral. Obviously, organisations rebranding have to invest in new signage and in new livery for vehicles, but as we all know signage and livery has to be redone regularly to look the best, so I am sure that it will be done at the approriate time.

Well done for the proposed brand refresh.

Written by Michæl McFarland Campbell

June 6th, 2020 at 11:16 am