Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Anyone can do design.

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  • Bart Janssen,

    So I thought I'd look for other city logos ... it turns out to be harder than I thought.

    I can't really find one for Paris ... there are a bunch of Paris logos but nothing that I can find that is specifically for the city government.

    New York is a problem. There is a the iconic I heart NY but that doesn't appear to be anything to do with the actual city government. The NY city sanitation dept has a cool logo , but that appears to be a historical thing. The NYC.gov thing in the top left might be the city logo but it's seem more like a logo for the web page.

    Rome apparently ran a competition for a logo in 2009 but I can't find the winning logo. Not being able to read italian may be an issue though. 40000 Euro prize sounds good though.

    I think the little pink blobs after the name Tokyo on this web page might be their logo. Maybe it means something important to the citizens but it doesn't mean much to me.

    Closer to home I think the funny anchor in an orange circle thing is the Sydney city logo but they seem more concerned about other peoples logos on their banners.

    So either this logo thing for cities is really hard or maybe cities don't really suit logos.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3223 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    The NYC.gov thing in the top left might be the city logo but it's seem more like a logo for the web page.

    I think it might actually be the rounded-looking "NYC" you see in various colors down the right hand side of that page. I'm not sure I've ever seen it anywhere, though. So it's either unused or unmemorable.

    That Tokyo logo might well be stylized cherry blossoms. I rather like it.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    One of the links from the link that Sacha gave led to this which I thought was quite interesting.

    It explains New York's problem, which is that any city logo has to compete with the I heart NY image.

    I did like the I Amsterdam which of course isn't the city logo.

    But if you scroll down to the bottom of the page there is a logo we all recognize which I suspect defines why any new flag debate will fail. No matter how cool a new flag design is it will always compete with the iconic silver fern.

    Thanks Amy you are almost certainly right, it was starting to bug me as to what they could be :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3223 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Toronto seems to have been through a branding exercise and come up with Toronto Unlimited. Meh.

    And perhaps like New York, any Auckland Logo will have to compete with that big nicely symmetrical island out in teh harbour. Yes it is banal and done to death, but it is kind of visible from just about everywhere. Even Rodney. (The district, not the MP)

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So I thought I'd look for other city logos ... it turns out to be harder than I thought.

    Some of those aren't comparable. New York is 5 different boroughs not one city council.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6151 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Some of those aren't comparable. New York is 5 different boroughs not one city council.

    The irony.
    How many bits of Auckland are we wrapping into one? I think Auckland Identity is so up in the air, it seems extremely difficult to determine anything let alone one symbol representing who we are.
    I understand that some people have their pieces of paper to say they can graphic design, and I realise that, they too were once students and must have had their belief in themselves to create, (and were then not qualified) and apparently there is a glut of students and qualified designers that Auckland think tanks (backing Government intervention in courses at Polytechs) say, but surely it is possible that anyone could come up with a good design if we knew what we were dealing with. At this point I feel totally out of the loop as to what our Council is or represents. Hey, that probably explains why I am angry about Hide bulldozing all of us around. 'Nuff said, as you were.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5924 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    So I thought I'd look for other city logos ... it turns out to be harder than I thought.

    I did a search for
    City Council Logos. Quite interesting. An awful lot of American City Logos look just like beer bottle labels, I wonder why?.
    This one would have been hard to put out to "Non Professionals" the temptations are too obvious.
    And this one wouldn't work as a beer Label even though the shape is right.
    And then there's Invercargill

    Invercargill was still the "city of water and light" despite its absence on the new Invercargill City Council logo, its communications manager said.

    Well, at least the whole Kaboodle cost only $15,000 and of that $3800 was for the Logo itself.

    Some of those aren't comparable. New York is 5 different boroughs not one city council.

    Now that rings a bell. Didn't we have that before the last "Shakeup" (Never shake a City, Baby)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    New York is 5 different boroughs not one city council.

    It's both. A "Super City", if you will.

    (Seriously, I wouldn't want to tell the New York City Council they don't exist. Some of them probably Know People.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 451 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    How many bits of Auckland are we wrapping into one? I think Auckland Identity is so up in the air, it seems extremely difficult to determine anything let alone one symbol representing who we are.

    It's a city council. It's not Auckland Identity, it's the local government organisation. It doesn't represent who Aucklanders are (unless it's incredibly well done), it represents the city council doesn't it?

    Seriously, I wouldn't want to tell the New York City Council they don't exist.

    Yes, but Auckland currently has a regional council, and several city councils. They're not quite equivalent to the NY model, but there's one large body with several smaller ones.

    Auckland's not going to have that. It will have one council.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6151 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I did a search for City Council Logos.

    ‘brushstroke central’, as that link from Sasha put it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1094 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    It will have one council.

    And how many CCOs?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3223 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    It's a city council. It's not Auckland Identity,

    So why then is it being treated here like it needs branding? Why the "so precious"?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5924 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So why then is it being treated here like it needs branding?

    I'll repeat my earlier argument.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6151 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Strangely the idea that a Logo is going to tell me what my rates do or don't get me (often don't) reminds me of this particular Mythbusters episode. Sorry, that was unnecessary, but they send me a notice with my rates bill, which spells it out fairly clearly.

    I'm certainly not suggesting Auckland is a turd that needs polishing (others can do that), but the Council, who have some pretty serious leaky homes problems to sort out, would be best placed focusing their attention on this, among other things, which may be why they put it out to the public.

    Yes, it does start to sound a bit precious. Perhaps I'll get back to the anachro-grams and lusty limericks.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Strangely the idea that a Logo is going to tell me what my rates do or don't get me (often don't) reminds me of this particular Mythbusters episode. Sorry, that was unnecessary, but they send me a notice with my rates bill, which spells it out fairly clearly.

    It doesn't seem particularly controversial to me to have something to plaster on the various buildings and services - trains, buses, rubbish collection, council buildings, libraries etc etc etc that reminds you at a glance "provided by..."

    Certainly a lot more effective than on a rates bill, because most people just open that and curse. You don't market the cost, you market the service.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6151 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I'll try not to get into a philosophical debate of the service and the cost of the service, in relation to 'value', and how logos do not 'add value', they add cost. And then the brand equity calculators will come out and try to convince me that 'You're just not getting the bigger picture. You need to consider the Value Chain!'

    Meh. Read the papers, written the essay, bought the t-shirt, remain largely unconvinced.

    If you want to sell me something that is unpalatable, then it's going to take more than a logo to soften the blow. Our rubbish trucks turn up when expected, and the rubbish goes away. Is that going to change under the new council in a Super City? Hope not.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It doesn't represent who Aucklanders are (unless it's incredibly well done), it represents the city council doesn't it?

    What does a unitary council (city and region combined) look like, given that it provides everything from rubbish collection, water and resource management consents to transport planning, tourism and business development, social policy and community venues?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I carefully avoided including dog control in that list, lest Barnes's earlier offering seemed apt. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What does a unitary council (city and region combined) look like, given that it provides everything from rubbish collection, water and resource management consents to transport planning, tourism and business development, social policy and community venues?

    But the City Council logo might be different from the 'tourism brand'.

    I think in Wellington they're the same: "absolutely positively wellington" seems to be used by WCC. But in Dunedin the DCC logo and the tourism type brand are quite different.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6151 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Dunedin's current attempt to cone up with a new slogan is showing just how fractious the population is about how they feel about the city council.

    One of the leading contenders in the local paper's straw poll:

    Dunedin: Rated Highly

    is showing up on lampposts all over town

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2033 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the City Council logo might be different from the 'tourism brand'

    Which is why I was describing functions of the new unitary Council rather than characteristics of the place

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Dunedin: Rated Highly

    No mucking around there

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    And this is my issue with the Auckland logo contest, is it:
    a)Intended as external marketing for the Auckland area.
    b)Intended as a recognisable symbol for stamping on Auckland council property
    c)Pseudo-corporate indulgence from people who have been reading books titled "Market yourself to a slimmer council in 60 days"

    I would suggest that a) and b), while both council functions, are pretty hard to reconcile in one single logo, as a) needs to be big and simple to emboss on sewer entrances and rubbish bins while the current vogue for b) involves multiple shades of colour and detail work.

    Now a public contest is a perfectly fine way for a sampling of initial designs that could be worked up into a) or b) {and probably, sadly, c)} but in light of the issues around the lack of democracy and transparency in the process, I would suggest it is more importantly d) an opportunity for people to try and hijack the process for their own ends.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 842 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    We already have (a), as I've pointed out a few times now.

    I'd go with (d) - a nice distraction, pretending that the amalgamation process is paying the slightest attention to what the Auckland region's citizens want or need.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16281 posts Report Reply

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