A city’s graphic identity can communicate many ideas about that particular city, its location, its people and their culture, a past or future time. A city should not be defined by its man-made architecture, unless it is recognised by it, otherwise it should be defined by the land, people and culture that makes it unique from other cities.
To cities familiar to me are Hobart, the city I grew up in, and Adelaide, the city where I was born. The graphic identities of these two cities are quite contrasting, but similar in the way that they both aim to communicate to the public something significant about that particular city.
Hobart is known for its location, its shoreline, beaches and cool climate and this is clearly portrayed in the ‘H.’ Blue and Green coloured lines are woven through each other to make the formation of the city’s first letter, while also creating the contrast between land and sea. There are two typefaces used for this logo, Baskerville and Arial, both very contrasting typefaces as one is a sans-serif and the other a serif. I think this places a confusion upon the design and does not necessarily make it legible. Serif fonts are associated with past times; where the use of unnecessary decorative elements on letters is old-fashioned.
In contrast to Hobart, Adelaide is well known for its many churches and this is the main focus of its graphic identity. The ‘A’ in Adelaide takes the form of a facade of a church, the arch. The typeface used is the uniform-like letters of Helvetica and this helps to make the words readable and clear. The circles in the logo seems to represent people. This in a sense represents a culture of religion, purity, community, connectedness and reconciliation and the two white coloured circles within the “church” signify this. Churches are quite historic and quite compelling, but Adelaide “cannot depend on material productivity as a measure of economic success,” (Glickfeld, 2010, p. 32) it needs to revisit its people and culture. Although Adelaide is the city of churches, this identity seems dated and disconnected from its people and its location.
In contrast to Adelaide, Hobart’s graphic identity has captured the beautiful alignment of land and water, which does not represent a past or future time, but rather the relationship the city has with nature. This visual aspect conveys Hobart’s “unique soul” (Glickfeld, 2010, p. 30 ) which is important when designing an identity. The culture of the city can also be seen through the imagery in the logo, where the people and the culture appear laid back and calm; it isn’t busy, because the lines that form the ‘H’ flow together, giving it that easy feel. The only downside to the imagery chosen is that it also takes the form of a bandage/band-aid, which could communicate the idea that Hobart needs to be patched up, that they are delicate and need help.
Glickfeld, E. (2010). On Logophobia. Meanjin, 69(3). Retrieved from http://onlineres.swin.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/522077.pdf