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Home / News / India /  What’s in a logo? Ask the Labour Bureau

NEW DELHI: At least 80 years after it was established, the Labour Bureau, the data and survey wing of the union labour ministry, has finally got a logo that encapsulates the essence of three core areas - rural, agriculture and industrial workers.

“For 80 years we had lots of work, and data, and now we have got an identity. The logo represents three goals that Labour Bureau aims to achieve in producing quality data -- accuracy, validity and reliability," said D.P. S Negi, director general of the labour bureau.

The blue cog wheel represents work. The choice of blue colour signifies that the organization deals with blue collar workers in rural and agriculture sectors; the line graph shows ups and downs in the employment sector as it captures ground realities. There's a tricolour graph, matching the colors of the national flag, along with wheat ears, signifying the fruit of rural agricultural labour in the logo.

And what time did it take to design the logo and how much did the government pay for it? Zero. "We spoke to a reputed design institution, they said – Rs.1 million in advance, and three to six months’ time. I said no, and designed it in-house within three days after reworking the design 74 times," Negi added.

The DG said while from rural township to the United Nations use their data, the bureau did not have a brand identity. “People don’t know how the rural wages and agricultural wages calculated and are based on their indexes. People don’t know the role it plays in collecting primary enterprise data etc. A Logo will now take the message deeper about our existence, our work and what it stands for," he said.

Harish Bijoor, a brand expert and head of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, said, “India is known for its diversity in language, lifestyle and socio-economic set up. A logo of a government department works as a single piece of communication and establishes the identity. Brand logo, brand colour and brand mascot are three important tools to drive a message."

“Look at the family planning logo of the government…how it drove the message even in rural India. And even the Sarva Shikha Abhiyan logo of a two kids sitting on a pencil and the girl holding an open book. That’s the power of a logo…the new literacy in rural market is the brand’s logo," he explained.

The foundations of Labour Bureau can be traced to the Royal Commission on Labour in 1931, which underlined the need for systematic collection of labour statistics relating to living, working and socio-economic conditions of industrial labour. A committee was set up in 1940 to recommend a statistical body for measuring change in prices following the Second World War. Accordingly, the Directorate of Cost of Living was established in Shimla 1941 and in 1946 the directorate was renamed Labour Bureau.

A retired labour bureau official, who declined to be named, said while a logo is a much-needed identity of the bureau and will help the directorate, it would be important for authorities to take Labour Bureau’s report seriously.

“The bureau through its offices does primary data collection and analysis. It has full of professional with good understanding of field surveys, data sampling and data analysis and they don’t have any vested interest. At times, the ground realities that labour bureau brings in is tough for successive governments to digest. It is important to value real data and make policies to improve situations wherever necessary," the retired official said.

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