So, we got what we expected from the Super City logo competition: a rather staid, traditional, old fashioned, unimaginative mark that looks like the old Regional Parks emblem. From the Super City I wanted a logo that expresses the modern, dynamic, diverse, creative, vibrant, commercial city that is Auckland. And I don’t get that from this.
And why not? It’s because there was no process, brief, strategy or vision. Without a proper design process what chance was there? If this is how the Super City is going to operate, I fear for all our services.
I think Jim Dean, a retired commercial artist, has created a perfectly adequate, if somewhat traditional logo. But what values does it convey to you, the rest of New Zealand and the world about Auckland?
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, given the style in which this competition was run. According to the New Zealand Herald: “The Transition Agency is still deciding how to use Mr Dean’s three designs.” Brilliant, they don’t even know how it will be used. Even the applause at the unveiling had to be prompted. It all seems to be rather flat.
It is time for New Zealand and the Super City as our commercial centre to support one of our greatest strengths. New Zealanders have a reputation for superb creativity, but it has to be creativity built on a strong commercial foundation with aims, objectives and deliverables clearly identified. It’s about aligning the brand to the business objectives of the company or service.
Branding is not a beauty contest. It is about emotionally connecting with your intended audience to convey the values and principles of your service or product. In the Super City’s first opportunity to demonstrate a new dynamic attitude, it fell at the first hurdle. Come on Auckland Super City, it’s time to support the great commercial creativity that your city has to offer.