Image: cityscape from Wong Kar Wai's beautiful 2046 (2004).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Urbanism + Typography: The Fun Side of City Branding

I'm a tad besotted with the CitID project, which has received some recent coverage via the New Yorker and Fast Company, among other sites. An initiative of design firm Norwegian Ink, CitID invites designers to create logos for their cities that are superior to your run-of-the-mill, dry, tidy and often completely uninventive tourism efforts. (Torontonians may recall the hub-bub around the uncanny similarities between the Toronto Unlimited campaign and the Bahamas tourism design.)

Not everything submitted to the site will make your socks go up and down, but when designers get it right, the results are lovely. On the one hand, CitID represents a sound argument for more user-generated logo creation, an opportunity that too many organizations and companies deny themselves. On the other, it offers a breath of fresh air to those of us who spend too much time amid theory about how corporate branding is turning our urban surrounds into soulless, interchangeable yawnscapes. Maybe we only need to look out the window to learn that, actually.

In any event, as of today, there is still ZERO representation of any Canadian cities, so Canuck graphic designers, you know what you have to do. Toronto, Montreal, Sudbury, Halifax, Vancouver, Regina... none of these places is going to logo-ize themselves... at least not well.

(Both images courtesy of CitID.)

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