17 October 2012


Religion, sport, transport and education in the village of Oranmore in Galway. The playing field beyond the car park, the church and school beyond the playing field. Each with their own signs and symbols, rules and uniforms.

Early morning in Oranmore, County Galway.

These codes are built in to us. We fume when someone enters by the exit or doesn’t park between the little white lines. We speak softly in church. We’re sent home if we don’t have our uniform. We understand the rules.

You might educate your children at home. Choose not to go to mass. But you won’t turn up for football training in your pyjamas. Sometimes we choose the rules that we abide by. But we know the rules.

Your organisation’s identity is based on choices you make about signs, symbols, tone, colour, image. Those choices become rules. Maybe the rule is that you hate rules. Your identity is chaotic, without structure.

Or maybe you choose some rules to abide by. Your primary symbol is a particular shade of yellow. The goods you sell are cheap. Your communications shout.

Or maybe you whisper. Or caress. Or amuse. Or amaze.

Maybe you work in a shirt and tie. Maybe you don’t.

It’s your identity. Your choices. Your rules.