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City branding:
from theory to practice
Case histories of cities succeeding
in creating a new logo:
Bologna
Eurocities Work...
1
A briefing for the city brand
1–Identification of the most significant features
of the identity of the city of Bologna
2–Definition of the repositioning...
A briefing for the city brand
The BCBP devoted the first five months to extensive research aimed at analysing perception
o...
The desired identity (Aspirational brand identity) via:
1–Seven Focus Groups, which saw the participation of around
90 sig...
We want to guide the visitor to discover Bologna in the most natural and instinctive
way possible. Regardless of his incli...
The invitation to wander and lose oneself in Bologna, a city where both human and sensorial
relationships are inseparable....
Among the over 500 proposals received, the jury has selected the winner: the group of authors
Matteo Bartoli and Michele P...
“The problem to be addressed, in studying a possible
visual identity for the city, it was therefore twofold:
first, to liv...
2
What is Bologna?
—
The identity
of Bologna
is given by a set
of unique
tangible elements
Colli
Torre degli Asinelli
Piazza Maggiore – Archiginnasio
Basilica di Santo Stefano – San Michele
Montagnola – Salaborsa ...
—
but the identity
of the city is characterized
also from a multitude of
intangible and subjective
elements
Passeggiare
Tortellini – Tagliatelle – Ragù
Piazza Maggiore – Pupi Avati – Arte
Pier Paolo Pasolini – Guglielmo Marconi
Cu...
—
The identity
of a modern city
is the result
of the union
of all these elements
Colli
Torre degli Asinelli
Piazza Maggiore – Archiginnasio
Basilica di Santo Stefano – San Michele
Montagnola – Salaborsa ...
—
the project sought
to create a visual translation
for this multiplicity
building an open and inclusive
graphic system
“The graphic design proposed has sought an appropriate “translation” of this visual narrative,
building a graphics system ...
3
The image of the city
—
we designed some
abstract geometric shapes
that reflect some
figurative archetypes
of the city of Bologna
—
For each shape we associate
a letter of the alphabet.
For every concept that involves
Bologna is corresponding a symbol
...
The image of the city 27/80Bologna City Branding
4
Writing method
—
The shapes
are positioned concentrically,
overlapping according
to fixed proportions,
creating composite figures
Writing method 30/80Bologna City Branding
Writing method 31/80Bologna City Branding
Writing method 32/80Bologna City Branding
Writing method 33/76Bologna City Branding
Writing method 34/80Bologna City Branding
Writing method 35/80Bologna City Branding
Writing method 36/80Bologna City Branding
Writing method 37/80Bologna City Branding
5
The visual identity
—
The coloring of the logos
follows a rule that requires
the use of two colors that
through the use of a given
transparenc...
The visual identity 40/80Bologna City Branding
The visual identity 41/80Bologna City Branding
The visual identity 42/80Bologna City Branding
The visual identity 43/80Bologna City Branding
The visual identity 44/80
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq8i5l86IWw
Bologna City Branding
6
Applications
—
The system thus conceived
becomes a coordination tool
for the communication
of the institutions and organizations
involv...
Applications 47/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 48/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 49/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 50/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 51/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 52/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 53/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 54/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 56/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 57/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 58/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 59/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 60/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 61/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 62/80Bologna City Branding
Stazione
Autostrade
Tangenziale
Aereoporto
Tangenziale
San Lazzaro
Stadio Dall’Ara
Torre
degli Asinelli
piazza di Porto Ra...
—
To allow the construction
of shared identity creating
logos is open and available
through the website
(beta) ebologna.it
Applications 65/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 66/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 67/80Bologna City Branding
Applications 68/80Bologna City Branding
7
Reviews
“This is a difficult one to judge. There are aspects of it that I like and others that irk me. (I’m not
even going to go i...
“The generated logos are interesting and intriguing as visual doodads but as identifiers
of a city, I am not 100% convince...
8
City of Food
—
City Of Food is a project
created to coordinate
all initiatives on food
that take place in the
metropolitan area of Bolo...
City of Food 75/80Bologna City Branding
—
The goal is to promote Bologna
as an international city of food.
	 The visual identity of this project
was created thank...
City of Food 78/80
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXgVEPXXaQY
Bologna City Branding
—
Thank you!
è Bologna
is part of the
Bologna City Branding Project
promoted by
photo credits: Cineteca di Bologna, Biblioteca Comunale...
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo
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Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo

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The competition among cities and territories increases globally and is mainly manifested in the increasing necessity to clearly define the identificational features and positioning of cities and territories with the objective of constructing a territorial brand able to attain greater visibility, to increase the capacity for attraction and to improve the perceived image through a plurality of planning and communication actions.
Analysis of the perception of Bologna’s image at a local, national and international level was in fact the first phase of the process of construction of the identity of the city.
This phase developed through different types of researches.
A research with a questionnaire to a sample constituted by visitors to Bologna in the last ten years.
A second research summed up the results of preceding researches on the perception of Bologna by residents.
A third investigation used the knowledge mining technology to make a Grammatical, Logical, Semantic and Sentiment analysis of the 20,000 or so posts on the web containing the word “Bologna.” This analysis made it possible to identify how this perception influenced the reputation of the city of Bologna on the Web.
seven focus .
Caroamicotiinvito: an online contest
The indications deriving from these researches were taken as a guide for addressing the subsequent repositioning of the city enacted in the second phase of the process of city branding.
The transition to the second phase was characterized by the identification of the logo and the identificational concept of the Bologna brand on the basis of the results of the research in the first phase, summed up in the briefing that orientated the International Contest for the logo and payoff of the city of Bologna
In the briefing there emerged the indication of the city as a “real city” with a contemporary, vital and experimental image, not a historicized and museum one but one in which the visitor does not feel treated like a tourist, and instead is put in a condition to have a personal experience not enclosed in forced pathways, but inspired by his or her curiosity to discover this “hidden jewel” through open expressive codes that can be customized. The desire is expressed to identify a logo and concept able to arouse in people curiosity and the desire to come to Bologna because this is an open, innovative and welcoming city in which it is possible to have experiences and authentic emotions according to one’s own inspirations.
The graphic project that won among the 504 proposals from various countries was done by Matteo Bartoli and Michele Pastore.
Bartoli and Pastore designed a system of writing replacing the graphemes of the Latin alphabet, of abstract characterising signs. There was thus designed a new alphabet of geometric signs, based on five signs to be found in the tangible historical memories of the city of Bologna. The first generative logo!!!

Published in: Marketing
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Bologna City Branding: How to Create a Generative Logo

  1. 1. City branding: from theory to practice Case histories of cities succeeding in creating a new logo: Bologna Eurocities Working Group on City Branding and Attractiveness Genova 10–11 April 2014 Bologna City Branding Roberto Grandi
  2. 2. 1 A briefing for the city brand
  3. 3. 1–Identification of the most significant features of the identity of the city of Bologna 2–Definition of the repositioning of the city 3–Identification of narrative structures to tell the new positioning of the city A briefing for the city brand The aims of the project Bologna City Branding 3/80
  4. 4. A briefing for the city brand The BCBP devoted the first five months to extensive research aimed at analysing perception of the current international (national) brand image of Bologna and at identifying the traits that characterise its desired identity. The international (national) image of Bologna was analysed by:   1–Giving a questionnaire to a sample of foreign/italian citizens who have visited and or stayed in Bologna in recent years (questionnaires completed 405, of which 250 in English and 155 in Italian) (October 2012 – February 2013) 2–Recovering data resulting from research carried out previously on the perception by residents 3–“Reputational”/”Sentiment” analysis of the presence of Bologna on the net, which examined 20.000 texts (during the period December 2012 – February 2013): posts and comments made available on the internet (forums, blogs, social networks, etc.). The International and National Perception of the Image of the city of Bologna Bologna City Branding 4/80
  5. 5. The desired identity (Aspirational brand identity) via: 1–Seven Focus Groups, which saw the participation of around 90 significant witnesses from the city, representing the economical, cultural, social and institutional world. (January and February 2013) 2–#Caroamicotiinvito – an online contest to gather stories about the city in the words and pictures of its citizens. (March 2013) 3–The results of the Metropolitan Strategic Plan. The desired identity A briefing for the city brandBologna City Branding 5/80
  6. 6. We want to guide the visitor to discover Bologna in the most natural and instinctive way possible. Regardless of his inclinations and cultural interests, he/she must be given the opportunity to be his/her own guide. We want to suggest random immersion, not a prearranged itinerary, and not even a priority choice. We do not want to be the ones to tell him/her what is important for us; we want him to discover the details that are of interest to him/her. We do not want to tell him/her about Bologna, but rather it must be he who offers us his/her personal story. We can offer a city with a contemporary, vital, experimental image, not just history and museums. A briefing for the city brand A briefing for the city brand 6/80Bologna City Branding
  7. 7. The invitation to wander and lose oneself in Bologna, a city where both human and sensorial relationships are inseparable. Walking through Bologna’s porticoes is the experiential key that we can offer the visitor: a unique and multifaceted perspective of the past and the present. We want people from all over the world to be tempted to come to Bologna because this is an open city, innovative and welcoming, where you can enjoy authentic experiences and emotions in keeping with your own inspirations. Bologna as an open code which give to everybody the possibility to write his/her own history. A briefing for the city brand A briefing for the city brand 7/80Bologna City Branding
  8. 8. Among the over 500 proposals received, the jury has selected the winner: the group of authors Matteo Bartoli and Michele Pastore (Trieste) “The project … proposes a dynamic and open system of identity able to set going processes with the participation of all the population of Bologna, and visitors and institutions. The system, proposing an open code, places at the center of communication, as the principal player, the citizen, and envisions the city of Bologna not only as architecture and physical space, but as the result of a summation of individuals, businesses, vicissitudes, ideas and visions. The project is not limited to proposing an identity system visible through a single graphic proposal but proposes complete development of all artefacts, online and offline. Despite the complexity of the concept, the project shows easy access, and is usable by anybody, of any age, gender or culture.” International competition to create a logo and a payoff for the city of Bologna (July–October 2013) A briefing for the city brand 8/80Bologna City Branding
  9. 9. “The problem to be addressed, in studying a possible visual identity for the city, it was therefore twofold: first, to live together in a “brand” the multiple facets and infinite perceptions of the city-that constitute what “is Bologna”. on the other hand, provide the system of sufficient strength and visual coherence to be perceived as such, and thus be an effective tool of connection and tangible enhancement of all these qualities.” Brand New (on line magazine) A briefing for the city brand 9/80Bologna City Branding
  10. 10. 2 What is Bologna?
  11. 11. — The identity of Bologna is given by a set of unique tangible elements
  12. 12. Colli Torre degli Asinelli Piazza Maggiore – Archiginnasio Basilica di Santo Stefano – San Michele Montagnola – Salaborsa – Palazzo Grassi Palazzo d’Accursio – Palazzo dei Notai Basilica di San Petronio – Arena del Sole Palazzo dei Banchi – Fiera – Mambo – Teatro Santuario della Madonna di San Luca Fontana di Nettuno – Stadio Dall’Ara Reno Colle di Barbiano Portici What is Bologna? 12/80Bologna City Branding
  13. 13. — but the identity of the city is characterized also from a multitude of intangible and subjective elements
  14. 14. Passeggiare Tortellini – Tagliatelle – Ragù Piazza Maggiore – Pupi Avati – Arte Pier Paolo Pasolini – Guglielmo Marconi Cultura – Zuppa Inglese – Cesare Cremonini Lucio Dalla – Fortitudo – Virtus – Lasagna Mozart – Pazienza – Università – Friggione Cardinal Mezzofanti – Alberto Tomba Giorgio Morandi – Certosino Panone – Crescentine Festival What is Bologna? 14/80Bologna City Branding
  15. 15. — The identity of a modern city is the result of the union of all these elements
  16. 16. Colli Torre degli Asinelli Piazza Maggiore – Archiginnasio Basilica di Santo Stefano – San Michele Montagnola – Salaborsa – Palazzo Grassi Palazzo d’Accursio – Palazzo dei Notai Basilica di San Petronio – Arena del Sole Palazzo dei Banchi – Fiera – Mambo – Teatro Santuario della Madonna di San Luca Fontana di Nettuno – Stadio Dall’Ara Reno Colle di Barbiano Portici Passeggiare Tortellini – Tagliatelle – Ragù Piazza Maggiore – Pupi Avati – Arte Pier Paolo Pasolini – Guglielmo Marconi Cultura – Zuppa Inglese – Cesare Cremonini Lucio Dalla – Fortitudo – Virtus – Lasagna Mozart – Pazienza – Università – Friggione Cardinal Mezzofanti – Alberto Tomba Giorgio Morandi – Certosino Panone – Crescentine Festival What is Bologna? 16/80Bologna City Branding
  17. 17. — the project sought to create a visual translation for this multiplicity building an open and inclusive graphic system
  18. 18. “The graphic design proposed has sought an appropriate “translation” of this visual narrative, building a graphics system that would give the widest range of stakeholders the ability to contribute without specific expertise to the construction of the visual identity of the city of Bologna. To tell this plurality of meanings and references has been designed a writing system that replaces the graphemes of the Latin alphabet, the abstract signs characteristic. It was thus designed an alphabet of geometric signs, due to an imaginary town typically Ita- lian: the forms freely take up again some figurative archetypes of the Italian city of Bologna, and more specifically (such as walls, brick mosaic, the lily and the heraldic banner of the cross citizen, etc.).” What is Bologna? 18/80 Brand New (on line magazine) Bologna City Branding
  19. 19. 3 The image of the city
  20. 20. — we designed some abstract geometric shapes that reflect some figurative archetypes of the city of Bologna
  21. 21. — For each shape we associate a letter of the alphabet. For every concept that involves Bologna is corresponding a symbol generated by the forms
  22. 22. The image of the city 27/80Bologna City Branding
  23. 23. 4 Writing method
  24. 24. — The shapes are positioned concentrically, overlapping according to fixed proportions, creating composite figures
  25. 25. Writing method 30/80Bologna City Branding
  26. 26. Writing method 31/80Bologna City Branding
  27. 27. Writing method 32/80Bologna City Branding
  28. 28. Writing method 33/76Bologna City Branding
  29. 29. Writing method 34/80Bologna City Branding
  30. 30. Writing method 35/80Bologna City Branding
  31. 31. Writing method 36/80Bologna City Branding
  32. 32. Writing method 37/80Bologna City Branding
  33. 33. 5 The visual identity
  34. 34. — The coloring of the logos follows a rule that requires the use of two colors that through the use of a given transparency blend together
  35. 35. The visual identity 40/80Bologna City Branding
  36. 36. The visual identity 41/80Bologna City Branding
  37. 37. The visual identity 42/80Bologna City Branding
  38. 38. The visual identity 43/80Bologna City Branding
  39. 39. The visual identity 44/80 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq8i5l86IWw Bologna City Branding
  40. 40. 6 Applications
  41. 41. — The system thus conceived becomes a coordination tool for the communication of the institutions and organizations involved in the project
  42. 42. Applications 47/80Bologna City Branding
  43. 43. Applications 48/80Bologna City Branding
  44. 44. Applications 49/80Bologna City Branding
  45. 45. Applications 50/80Bologna City Branding
  46. 46. Applications 51/80Bologna City Branding
  47. 47. Applications 52/80Bologna City Branding
  48. 48. Applications 53/80Bologna City Branding
  49. 49. Applications 54/80Bologna City Branding
  50. 50. Applications 56/80Bologna City Branding
  51. 51. Applications 57/80Bologna City Branding
  52. 52. Applications 58/80Bologna City Branding
  53. 53. Applications 59/80Bologna City Branding
  54. 54. Applications 60/80Bologna City Branding
  55. 55. Applications 61/80Bologna City Branding
  56. 56. Applications 62/80Bologna City Branding
  57. 57. Stazione Autostrade Tangenziale Aereoporto Tangenziale San Lazzaro Stadio Dall’Ara Torre degli Asinelli piazza di Porto Ravegnana, 40126 Bologna, Italia 051 647 2113 – www.èbologna.it 4.5 37 recensioni indicazioni – cerca nelle vicinanze Applications 63/80Bologna City Branding
  58. 58. — To allow the construction of shared identity creating logos is open and available through the website (beta) ebologna.it
  59. 59. Applications 65/80Bologna City Branding
  60. 60. Applications 66/80Bologna City Branding
  61. 61. Applications 67/80Bologna City Branding
  62. 62. Applications 68/80Bologna City Branding
  63. 63. 7 Reviews
  64. 64. “This is a difficult one to judge. There are aspects of it that I like and others that irk me. (I’m not even going to go into the merits or demerits of this being the result of a contest — the contest happened and this came out, end of story). The underlying concept is quite solid: a flexible, “participatory” identity based on geometric shapes you might see around the city of Bologna as stained glass, wall or door decorations, medieval inscriptions or drawings, etc. Even if they are not shapes directly pulled from specific sources, the aesthetics are there. Typing in a word in the microsite for the new identity lets you see the concept in action and yields you your own “é Bologna” logo where your word and the wordmark make a new logo, i.e., “Ponies is Bologna” Reviews 71/80 Brand New (on line magazine) Bologna City Branding
  65. 65. “The generated logos are interesting and intriguing as visual doodads but as identifiers of a city, I am not 100% convinced. The transparency/overlaid effect, to me (and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why), is what takes it from a serious proposition of city branding to just a cool graphic exercise. The applications are attractive, though, and I can see the potential in it — it is particularly and surprisingly convincing when used small as shown in the event materials. Overall, it’s a curious solution that perhaps could have gone through one more layer of refinement in how the icons are rendered and it’s still not clear when or how the city of Bologna will use it but as fodder for us, it’s molto bene.” Reviews 72/80 Brand New (on line magazine) Bologna City Branding
  66. 66. 8 City of Food
  67. 67. — City Of Food is a project created to coordinate all initiatives on food that take place in the metropolitan area of Bologna
  68. 68. City of Food 75/80Bologna City Branding
  69. 69. — The goal is to promote Bologna as an international city of food. The visual identity of this project was created thanks to the potential of the generative logo of Bologna.
  70. 70. City of Food 78/80 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXgVEPXXaQY Bologna City Branding
  71. 71. — Thank you!
  72. 72. è Bologna is part of the Bologna City Branding Project promoted by photo credits: Cineteca di Bologna, Biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio Bologna ©2014 – Comitato Urban Center

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