With austerity putting even greater pressure on public finances, the challenge for the City of Liverpool was to ensure that the impact didn’t fall disproportionately on those already in need. Looking at the issue from a wider perspective the Council decided to create an independent Fairness Commission to look at how the City could create a fairer economy through enlightened procurement, better targeting of resources and encouraging local employers to embrace the principle of a Living Wage.
Our brief was to create a visual identity for the Commission, help to sharpen its messaging and above all ensure that this was not another worthy report that would gather dust on the shelves of politicians and policy-makers. The Just Fair brand expressed our belief that fairness is not a complicated or controversial political idea. It’s something that’s obvious and self-evident. Something that people intuitively recognise and understand. The branding was about underscoring and asserting a simple truth. We all know when something is Just Fair.
We also wanted to design an event that spoke in language that engaged people beyond the usual suspects and the established public policy community. The event brought together a diverse range of activists, policy-makers, businesses and young people with a key note speech from screen-writer, Frank Cottrell-Boyce explaining how the idea of fairness inspired his vision for the Olympic opening ceremony. It’s a unifying concept that is at the core of British society and cherished institutions like the NHS.
The Fairness Commission has continued to exercise a positive and active influence in city affairs. Annual Fairness Summits have been convened with the Mayor of Liverpool to measure progress in implementing key recommendations. A succession of follow-on initiatives were launched and the Commission’s work has become a cornerstone for policy-making on procurement, social value, education and support for young people.