Ultimately the goal of every logo is to brand an organisation or entity in an abstract manner. It can never be too literal or the magic of what is being conveyed will be lost. It needs to speak about the uniqueness of the entity, in this case a city, without plastering its strengths for all to see.
It’s debatable whether the two examples I’ve chosen meet this goal appropriately. It would surely be easy to brand the city of Sydney, it’s idyllic harbour and famous opera house are world renowned. By Australian standards its a well populated area and along with Melbourne, is considered the beating heart of modern Australia. For tourists there is no reason not to go but having said that, nature can only do so much, the identity that has been created for Sydney misses the mark on quite a few points.
The visual language of the graphic shows a consideration for some recognized design elements. There is a strong presence of line throughout, it’s density and colour changes in defined segments until it reaches a far, shallow mark in the centre. The rounded, sans serif font resonates some degree of casualty, and shows the place isn’t too austere. As discussed through SpellBrand though, you really have to stretch the imagination to define what the logo means for Sydney. It’s hollow, emotionless, shows weak structure and makes no reference to any of it’s iconic architectural achievements (Bonigala M, n.d). What can be derived from it is a clear advocacy for diversity and possibly to show the beach loving nature of the city, it could be interpreted as a beach ball.
The logo for Canberra, which only has come into effect recently as part of a major re-branding for the capital city of Australia, spells out CBR in a modern, bold font. It can be filled in with monochrome or colour, or as seen here, given a dynamic outline. It now also stands for “Confident. Bold. Ready.”, (Armin, 2013) a new slogan they have developed to match the logo. The design does well to match the lines with a part of the cities road map. While also signifying that everything within the city is connected. The lines between within the letters join to to create strength and reinforce the cities values.
There are a number of differences between the two designs (even though geographically the states are right next to each other), mainly being that one is coloured based on shape rather then letters, but the identity Canberra is creating with its new branding strategy has the potential to bring it out of the view that it is purely a ‘political’ state. They have approached the task of creating a “unifying symbol” (Glickfield, 2010) in different ways, and while Canberra feels progressive, Sydney’s already feels dated and generic. Both prove though that cities should take on identities to create a sense of purpose for tourists, businesses and residents alike.
Bonigala, M (n.d)
Retreived from. http://www.spellbrand.com/sydney-logo-a-city-without-a-heart
Glickfield, E (2010).
Armin (Dec, 2013)