Creativity in the city

C is for cities creating catchy content.

A recent trip to the Sunshine State, and a pre-schoolies stay on the Gold Coast, got us thinking about a place and its brand – AKA destination branding. What should a destination’s brand represent? Culture, characters, customs … the list goes on.

With city branding on the mind, we thought we’d share some of the research we found about cities and their brands (including our very own Melbourne of course).

Do costume designers make good brand makers?

We were intrigued to discover that an Oscar winner; part of the design team for the film The Grand Budapest Hotel has given Dublin a new visual identity. Meet Annie Atkins.

“This new brand (with associated logo and designs) seeks to communicate Dublin’s unique position as a vibrant capital city bursting with a variety of surprising experiences and a destination where city living thrives side by side with the natural outdoors.”


DUBLIN dublin2

Source: Failtre Ireland press release

The new identity, featuring pastel colours and clean newsprint typography is not what comes to mind when you think of Dublin (there is no St Patrick’s Day greenery or shamrocks in sight!). It comes with a new tagline: ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’, this in itself challenges ingrained perceptions about Dublin, and perhaps Ireland as a whole. The branding makes you want to visit this hip, pace-setting city and #lovedublin. Dublin is in fact a very liveable city and worthy of this new branding.

oui oui oui

On our search we also discovered that earlier this year the new branding for the Saint-Didier-au-Mon-d’Or in France was released. Another stellar effort by designers. The before and after effect I’m sure you’ll agree is outstanding.

A classic for the big apple

An oldie but a goodie. Standing the test of time and one of the most successful examples of destination branding is the now iconic ‘I heart NY’ logo, designed by Milton Glaser in 1977. IhearNYAlmost 40 years later, the logo still generates $30 million a year in merchandise sales alone. We’ve all been there, done that and bought the T-Shirt!

(Left) Milton Glaser’s iconic ‘I Heart NY’ logo

A more recent example of successful destination branding is the ‘I amsterdam’ campaign. The campaign uses clever wordplay to invite tourists to play and stay.









The ‘I amsterdam’ logo sculpture is a popular photo-op for tourists.

The big M continues to shine

Locally, an example of impressive destination branding is the City of Melbourne branding, designed by Landor in 2009. We moved away from the leaf and into the future with the modern M branding – a modern brand for a modern city.  melbouren

City of Melbourne logo by Landor


Tourism New Zealand has been using its ‘100% pure’ tagline for a while now, but is expanding it with ‘everyday is different’ while maintaining its simplistic graphic – I guess the scenery speaks for itself.

The rebrand for the city of Porto, designed by White Studio last year is simplistic yet effective. At first glance it is almost facebook-esque.



Porto branding by White Studio

We can’t go by without mentioning London’s transitions – particularly post 2012 Olympics. And another Landor design for Hong Kong – which has transformed the international city’s logo into a modern brand, while incorporating the traditional dragon.


At the c word we are always interested in design.

How would you portray your home town through a logo?

Our CEO’s challenge for the weekend: get the sketch book out and come up with a  concept for his hometown of Woombye (yes, that’s a real town) 🙂

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew

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