It's things like this that make me realise how fortunate I am to be working with all these fine people on GOV.UK.
(If you couldn't be bothered clicking on that link it's a blog post about how we're binning these lovely icons because they weren't helping get users where they needed to go.)
I can take no credit for this at all, but it did make me realise that we've made a good decision not to surround GOV.UK with all the inflated rhetoric of 'brand'.
If we were managing a brand would we have been so brutal and focused with these things? Probably not. It would have been someone's job to think of these as valuable brand assets and argue for their preservation. For some reason, as soon as you describe something as a brand all this fake science marketing mysticism gets invoked and paralysing decisions get made.
Yes, if we talked to a focus group about these icons we could probably get them to say they liked them and they were central to GOV.UK as a brand. But, in the real world, when they're using the site, they couldn't really care less.
It's brilliant and clarifying to be able to just act on that.
We should, absolutely, be worrying about GOV.UK's reputation and about whether people can use it well.
We should not be worrying about the brand. It's nice not to have to.
(And, I know, and I'm sure, that there are people out there who can build and manage a brand without tying themselves in these ridiculous knots. But not, for the most part, in large organisations, where the brand becomes a centre of gravity of its own - not a thing in service to everything else.)