Brand Bible

25 Sep

Creative Review are raving about a brand book for Norwich Cathedral. The idea they say, was staring the team in the face. ‘Why don’t we make our brand bible like – the Bible!’

And so they did. I feel a little uneasy with it. It feels the project was put together by people who see the Bible as a flimsy paged, leather bound book full of ‘thou shalt nots’. It certainly is a stereotype that many hold to be the truth.

I would be less worried if this had been a brand book from a secular organisation – I guess anything that keeps the Bible in the popular culture is to be welcomed. From their position of artistic and cultural power in the Renaissance, Christians have been reduced to the depressing state of being glad of the crumbs from the pop culture table. But wait! This reminder that the Bible is old fashioned, autocratic and almost comically out of step with the times doesn’t come from a supermarket or a bank or a beer – it comes from Norwich Cathedral.

Maybe the people who run the cathedral think it’s funny, or self deprecating, or clever. Maybe they were seduced by the marketing bods who dreamed it up. Maybe they did see it and rejected it but the agency sent it to Creative Review anyway. Maybe they think that, because they are employed by the church, they can reconfigure the Bible for their own ends. Who knows? We could see reworkings of the Lord’s Prayer or the Sermon on the Mount if it means the public can get to know more about the typeface that a cathedral prefers to use for its letterheads. It’s a means to an end.

But after all the back slapping has died down, Creative Review’s readers will be left with the reminder that the Bible is just a silly old book that bears no relevant message to the world in 2012. I can’t think that this is the legacy that Norwich Cathedral would like to leave as a result of their rebrand but as a Christian, I feel like something has died.

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