The Value of British

kitkatIf you have a spare hour, I urge you to watch the ‘Made in Britain’ documentary that was shown on BBC2 last night. If you work in the creative industry (which you probably do if you’re reading this right now), it will make you proud to be doing the job you are; it’s benefiting our country more than you may think. Evan Davis explains that though Britain aren’t manufacturing as much as in times gone by, they are still definitely making, just in a different sense. The British are forerunners in terms of innovation and conceptualisation, mainly in the areas of pharmaceuticals and technology, which are big money makers, but most importantly the key areas which are pushing society forwards. The majority of manufacturing is now sent overseas. This fact struck a chord, having just recently seen the furore on Design Week over the ‘Made in Britain’ logo launched by kitchen company Stoves.

The logo in question was designed by a student, rather than a British design studio, showing that us British are failing to showcase our most valued asset, our creativity. Another aspect is that this system is self monitoring, with no creative strategy in place to keep it’s value intact, potentially undervaluing the quality of products we are proudly boasting. Through promotions like this we are selling our nation short. Who can forget the government initiative ‘Start Up Britain‘, which promoted using American based crowd sourcing company 99designs.com for ‘logos’ for our start ups. This leads us to believe that though we may be smart and creative nation, we should use our strengths by turning our talents onto successfully marketing ourselves.

Comments

  • The Stoves initiative also reminded me of StartUp Britain. Both good ideas. Both poorly executed.

  • Paul Fisher

    I am impressed with what this show is saying. I do come across people that say manufacturing is dead in this country. My Dad being a Metallurgist/Engineer who had his own company said this.

    One problem is education. Because companies are improving manufacturing process they are laying off workers which is why we have 2.5 million unemployed. People need to be re-educated.

    Another problem with education is that the average person does not go to Cambridge and Oxford. The Comprehensive school system is still geared up to the old manufacturing sector. Creativity and original thinking is not encouraged. They aim to produce drones.

    Also the people that run the establishment are very conservative. Take the energy crisis. I am sure people have found a way of using other resources other than oil. The people that run the oil industry buy these ideas and they never see the light of day.

    Also regarding the establishments attitude look at Frank Whittle who designed the Jet engine in 1939. The idea was originally dismissed by the M.O.D and they did not put it into production until the end of the war.

    The battle is the Establishments attitude and the Comprehensive education system is not encouraging and nurturing creatives. I know from bitter experience being a musician.

    People like Tony (Tory boy!) Blair do not help either. He had free university education and burnt that bridge to stop people following in his footsteps by introducing university fees keeping the unwashed masses in their place.

    We are currently in recession and the old system is not working. Times are changing and the education system needs to be re-evaluated. There is no such thing as a job for life as technology innovates.

    I was actually trained as a printer and doubt I could do the job now without retraining. Luckily I am a talented musician and that is putting food on my table.