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FutureBrand's Jon Tipple talks country and city branding with Creative Review

30 October, 2018 Share socially

This month Creative Review examines the origins and development of place branding. Olympic host cities have been commissioning temporary graphic identities since the late 19th century, German designer Otl Aicher created a pictogram-based design system for the German town of Isny am Allgau in the late 1970s and Joan Miró created a logo for Spain back in 1983 – an image that conveyed the idea of Spain as a colourful, expressive, vibrant place. But now, countries, cities and neighbourhoods from Peru to Wales are developing new identities to boost investment and visitor numbers. Brussels, Bhutan, Ukraine, Liege, Chattanooga, Stockholm and New York’s Meatpacking District are just some of the dozens of places to have invested in new branding in the past few years.

Featuring FutureBrand’s identity designs for countries such as Bhutan and Peru and describing our current work with cities including Milan, the article describes how the best visual identities aim to capture the essence of a place and what it has to offer “in a positive and forward-looking way”. 

Joan Miró’s logo for Spain, Milton Glaser’s design for New York and Futurebrand’s identity for Peru are cited as examples of designs that achieve this: “[Peru’s logo] is a marvellous piece of work – it’s a very nice typographic design that captures what we think of as the essence of Peru, but it also feels super contemporary.”


FutureBrand's Jon Tipple talks country and city branding with Creative Review
“Peru’s logo is a marvellous piece of work – it’s a very nice typographic design that captures what we think of as the essence of Peru, but it also feels super contemporary.”
Creative Review

In the article Jon Tipple describes how good place branding is about much more than logos and tourism campaigns, and explains that it has evolved from “conveying an image of somewhere” to “creating an experience”.

He talks about FutureBrand’s ongoing work with Milan which explores how the city can create a positive environment for students and workers, and as part of this, our work in developing a welcome centre and accompanying digital platform. This, he says, is one example of how places can ensure that the experience of being somewhere lives up to the image projected in marketing and tourism campaigns. If visitors have a positive experience from the moment they arrive, they will be more likely to recommend a place to others and potentially stay there longer, spend more or engage more with that place during their trip.

“In those first few days, how you are welcomed makes a huge difference to your long-term [opinion] of a place and that has a huge knock-on commercial benefit,” he explains. “The countries and places that are cracking it at the moment are doing a really good job not just of saying [why you should visit], but making sure when you arrive that it actually lives up to the image that has been created.”

This is an excerpt from an article by Rachael Stevens originally published in Creative Review (October 2018)