And some lofty prose followed soon after as the Ministry of Tourism launched the cycleway's new branding initiative.
"In February 2009, The New Zealand Cycle Trail was just an idea. It was an idea that was given life at the Job Summit and shortly after, the imagination of the public was captured."
The Government then decided to provide $50 million to make that dream a reality. And the visual representation of that dream can be seen above.
The Ministry of Tourism sought the expertise of a select working group and Tourism New Zealand’s communications agency to work on the brand.
Kiwi boutique Assignment Group, the folks responsible for 100% Pure (busted!), was chosen to do the brand work in order to get an "integrated picture". StopPress is waiting for the ministry to provide the exact cost *cackles, rubs hands with glee* for the work but it is expected to be around $30,000 (that seems very cheap, but it's a government-led project, so maybe times that figure by 10 for the full cost).
The rationale behind it was simplicity (universal understanding and fit with other logos); compatibility with 100% Pure branding; uniqueness (recognising Maori heritage and making it 'ours'); and practicality.
Not surprisingly, the ministry thinks they've achieved these goals: it says the logo is simple, stylised and internationally understood; "the bold blacks and whites work seamlessly with the 100% Pure brand"; "the fluid lines used in the cyclist graphic as well as the red, white and black are a salute to traditional Maori design elements (the ‘Nga Haerenga’ text directly translates to ‘The Journeys’); and the front wheel of the bike is a space that can be used to provide directions, distances and places to eat and sleep.
So, what do the StopPress experts think? Has the stick figure from the Pak n Save ads decided to get into cycling? And does anyone else think the new logo looks a little bit like a contestant smashing their face hilariously into one of those big red Wipeout balls?