Monday, 25 April 2011


According to the Financial Times, a new 'Made in Britain' seal is being designed to help consumers identify products that are genuinely manufactured in the UK.

The campaign is spearheaded by Stoves, a Merseyside cooker manufacturer. The FT article states that Stoves has found '40 per cent of Britons erroneously believe that HP Sauce is still made in the UK. In fact, HP Sauce abandoned manufacturing in Birmingham after more than a century in favour of the Netherlands five years ago.'

M&I agrees that there is a need for an official 'stamp of approval' for UK goods. There is a distinct lack of promotion and protection for UK manufacturers. On a luxury level members of Savile Row created a Bespoke Association in 2004, similar to the Chambre Synidcale de la Haute Couture in Paris (founded in 1973.) If UK products are to help the country grow once again, this new logo needs proper consideration.

A quick search however, provides some concerning evidence that this new logo is destined to fail. Stoves has outsourced design to student competitions and the entries are predictably poor. The prize money of £200 indicates that design is being seen as superfluous to the process, an additional bit of polish to an ill-thought through attempt that needs consideration and consultation across a larger body of manufacturers and craftspeople.

POSTSCRIPT: Following the publication of this article we received an email from the PR for Stoves, wanting to clarify the competition. In it they explained that the logos 'will be judged by a panel of experts including Designer Magazine, a director of a creative agency and Stoves' marketing director. There will also be consultation via Facebook with the public and businesses free to put their thoughts forward. The winner will work closely with a creative agency to hone the final concept.'

Image of Retail Trading Standards Association stamp from the Sunspel archive

1 comment:

Make it British said...

Hi Adam, I'm completely with you on this one. The whole thing smacks of cost-cutting, and now that you tell me that the price money was a paltry £200 I am outraged!
Stoves had all of the right intentions, but if the government really wants to support UK manufacturing then they should have got a reputable design agency behind this, not relied on one manufacturer to outsource it to students.