To create an identity for a city, you need to consider many factors - history, people, expectations. In this article, designers with experience in this field talk about their approaches and strategies.
How to create a brand that unites an entire city? Making a locality economically and culturally attractive with a visual identity is not an easy task. It must meet a number of seemingly contradictory requirements: it must be clear but delicate, universal but unique, evoke a sense of belonging but have a global appeal, and most importantly, it must stand the test of time.
The emotional aspect is particularly important here. In a recent campaign to rebrand New York City
, designer Graham Clifford took the iconic I ❤ NY symbol, designed by Milton Glaser in the '70s, and made small changes to it - a different pronoun, a sans serif font and a three-dimensional heart - that drew strong reactions around the world. Many called the result a failure, while others supported the inclusive message and updated design.
Is there a recipe for creating a successful city brand? Marketing specialist Maryam Banikarim believes it's all about purpose. "It's important to be clear about what purpose you are solving and for whom." The goal of rebranding New York City was to instill a sense of pride in the residents and encourage them to do socially useful actions, such as volunteering.
"It's about 'we,' not 'I,'" she clarifies. "No one is trying to replace the original mark, the new logo will be used alongside it and unite New Yorkers. Whether you like it or not, do something for your city."