Industrial Identity and Legacy in the case of the CEGB

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For celebrants of modernist design, mentioning British Rail (BR) will likely conjure images of Kinneir and Calvert’s Rail Alphabet and Design Research Unit (DRU). Established by Milner Grey, Charles Basset and later Misha Black, DRU’s work for BR began in 1963 and produced a simple and effective standardisation of signage across an extensive field. The programme to develop BR’s corporate identity was noted as the “largest and most complex” undertaken in the UK at the time and was deemed necessary to coordinate and unify a relatively newly nationalised industry through a clear identity. The raison d’etre of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual was a combination of public relations, coordination, optimism and demonstrative cost-effectiveness in the interests of the taxpayer. It is no surprise then that this approach spread to other nationalised industries optimistically delivering major infrastructure in the modernisation and reconstruction of Britain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Modernist
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2019


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