Vancouver vs. Melbourne, Australia – graphic identity

Compare Vancouver’s graphics and logo with Melbourne, Australia’s graphic identity. Any contest?

I am consistently mortified by Vancouver’s recent graphics, especially considering they were launched just before the Olympics and the whole world saw them. They’re suburban if I’m being generous; they’re in the style of feminine hygiene packaging if I’m being honest. Now the City of Vancouver has launched a new $3 million website and that price tag didn’t even come with a graphic identity remake.

Melbourne’s identity was produced by Landor Associates. For more images of Melbourne’s graphics, see here and here. The last link shows Melbourne’s prior logo, which is far inferior yet even it is better than Vancouver’s current look.

Melbourne is currently a hotspot of design and architecture (especially residential) and gaining international attention. There are many reasons why it has achieved this status, and we can’t match all of them here. But Vancouver can certainly do better than it is doing. Why do we not have a vibrant design scene here? Has the cost of living has driven out too many artists and designers? Whatever it is, we’re not setting a high enough bar in Vancouver. By the way, Melbourne (like other Australian cities) has begun to set regulations in place to control real estate speculation.

PS More on Vancouver’s city and Olympic graphics in this older post.

Welcome To Vancouver - Host City - 2010 Olympic And Paralympic Winter Games

The process by which Melbourne’s identity was designed, via behance:

City of Melbourne is a dynamic, progressive city, internationally recognized for its diversity, innovation, sustainability, and livability. City of Melbourne council supports the city’s world-class offerings, represents it nationally and internationally, and ensures it remains a preeminent Australian center for culture, arts, dining, entertainment, education, and shopping. Since implementing its previous identity 15 years ago, City of Melbourne has experienced significant change. As a result, the council had accumulated a range of isolated logos for various services, which had become increasingly difficult and costly to manage. The fragmentation of City of Melbourne’s identity meant equity was driven away from the core brand, and the council realized that it needed a long-term solution.

City of Melbourne asked Landor to develop a cohesive brand strategy and new identity system. The challenge was to reflect City of Melbourne’s cool sophistication on the world stage, capture the passion of its people, and provide the city with a unified, flexible, and future-focused image. The new identity needed to overcome political complexities, improve the cost-effectiveness of managing the brand, and unite the disparate range of entities (including the council, City of Melbourne’s destination brand, and an ever-growing portfolio of different initiatives, programs, services, events, and activities).

We built the branding program based on the results of a thorough audit of City of Melbourne’s various identities and its long-term sustainability and strategic plans. The audit assessed public opinion and interviewed stakeholders who included local government officials, business owners, and community representatives. At the heart of the new design, the bold “M” presents a full expression of the identity system – immediately recognizable and as multifaceted as the city itself: creative, cultural, sustainable. A celebration of diversity and personal interpretation that is both future-proof and iconic.

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