Base Design has revealed its new identity system for the Brussels Capital Region in Belgium. The work is based on a new '.brussels' domain address for the area, and turns the standard country code into a statement...
While the new '.brussels' domain suffix will come into use in the region in 2013, reflecting the importance of maintaining a strong regional identity online, the new system retains an aspect of the area's traditional identity: the blue and yellow iris, the symbol for the Brussels Capital Region.
The new brand is, say Base, composed of a "call to action" i.e. 'be.brussels' and apparently also ties the capital to the Brussels Region to Belgium, which can be abbreviated to 'BE' (though as capital city, the links between Brussels and the wider country were probably quite strong already).
The following work for the campaign shows how the identity makes use of the 'be' as a flexible element that sits alongside the 'be.brussels' phrase. Hence 'be inspired', 'be espanol', 'be english', 'be turk' and so on. Even 'be chouchou' or 'be babaluba'.
There are some nice touches where the word is replaced by a symbol e.g. a pipe, the iris, the Belgian flag, a brussels sprout.
Despite having to accomodate an existing part of the capital's identity (the iris), Base has succeeded in playing on the established colours of blue and yellow and sitting a relevant, contemporary identity system around it, which asserts the importance of the region's online presence with quirky humour.
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This is awful isn't it?
Am I missing something? Have I been left behind?
r u kidding me?
be. Much better
It's trendy, it's meant to be awful. Ugly design is 'in'. Come on, keep up!
How much did these guys get paid?
Is it true that they hired the Easyjet in-house team for consulation?
That isn't quite Arial Rounded, the g's and k's are a little bit different, but it's just as inappropriate and off-looking for the job.
As for the project, I find the
"Be [Picture of a BRUSSELS sprout with a smiley face]
Be.Brussels" image in that little animated gif to be, really, the highlight of this project.
And the Ryanair brand guidelines...
U G L Y !!!
I agree with Mark have I been left behind because I think this is terrible. Like really bad.
The typeface is not Arial Helvetica Rounded or a ripoff. Its called Mija: http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/latinotype/mija/
I dont know if the font reflects the concept behind the brand, is just a fun grotesque made with a handmade brush, nothing more.
be.gin again. OK idea, painful execution – especially that blue vignette!
who hasn't done their research:
Oh my god, been there done that…
I thought finally we were over this, and now Brussels is up for a re-run.
Apparently the typeface is 'Mija' by Latinotype
The typeface actually looks rather nice when you look at it out of the context of this.
I think part of the problem beyond the concept, is the execution. Those shades of blue and yellow are the city's colours, but how they're handled here seems deliberately harsh, and the blue against the black and white photography...
reminds me Ikea in the late 90's
Considering Brussels is my capital and I want a propper explanation for what they did I've sent this mail to base:
I have always been a great fan of base and still am. You guys have always been my favorite agency. Stylish yet daring, provocative and full of humor.
However today I saw the work you did for Brussels capital and I must say my jaw dropped right open…
I know that taste is a subjective matter but even that didn't comfort my worries. It feels as if somebody took over base and kicked this project in the strange direction it has taken.
Therefore can you please explain me why it is like it is? Why using this (awfull) blue spray and that particular typeface? Why use a slogan that has allready been used by Berlin in 2008?
Or am I missing out on something and is ugly the new black?
Hoping for a reaction,
A worried fan,
I'll let you know if the respond.
be a copycat
I won't be. going to Brussels
Even worse than "I AMsterdam"... oh my!
I got my answer from base (see previous post for the mail I've sent them)
Apparently the name was not chosen by base but by the client. Same for the colors, these are the official Brussels colors. The logo is the same story, chosen by Brussels yet slightly altered by base. According to them the quality of the design lays in the system. It is flexible, can be adjusted according to the context and allows to illustrate the diversity of the city.
more info on the font can be found here: http://typographica.org/typeface-reviews/mija
I've never been to Brussels would hope to go there one there!
This isn't 100% Arial Rounded as somebody says ;-)
By the way, the color palette isn't to funky, it's the color scheme used to convey the "low cost positioning" (Lidl, Ryanair...). What I like is the system, today I think a brand should invest more time into systems than just logos... The .be system does the job : it's simple to use, 100% open and easy to expand into new territories.
The city's equities are the people who live there : a system like this one is so open that everyone could fit in it.
Be.sides this, it's inspiring and "interacting with audiences" : it's an active system that calls "for entries".
It's more about "Is this going to work as expected" than "Is this graphically nice". Are the Adidas / Google / Toyota / IBM / H&M / Amazon / ebay / Hermès aesthetically great logos ? I don't think so. Are these brands beloved and trusted ? Absolutely.
Its our job as designers to create "systems" that are asesthetically pleasing though isnt it? Is you arguement that as long as a brand has a decent system to be expanded then it doesnt matter what it looks like? Furthermore as has been said this has been done, the idea isnt even that strong.
Most of your examples are tech companies from the 90s who, granted didnt really care about logo's- I personally reckon adidas' 3 stripe is an inspired way to brand a product. But thats just me.
I think more and more companies and studios are looking beyond the logo these days.
"Be Berlin" is quite different to me. The german campaign plays on a different level with the city's name... we have a double "Be" and they want you "to talk, to express yourself" as the balloon stencil clearly asks.
"Be Berlin" says "We are from many different countries, we have different cultures, but we're making the new Berlin now, we all are Berliners"...
".be Brussels" plays with the geographic url for Belgium (.be). Usually on a classic url, it would find its place at the end of the internet address... Here it stands right in the front row, saying "internet" without to adopt the old fashioned way. Among this, the .be plays a "second first role" becoming an actor, a motivator, calling you to engage with it. The Berlin campaign wants to tell you you are part of it, even if you ignored you were... The german campaign is for a new-born-city and it aims berliners only, to me is more a "political campaign" than a city branding.
Brussels is an "established" city, evolving of course as any other city in the world, but it doesn't need to say to people "Be part of it". It says "just be yourself". It means the campaign talks to everyone : citizen, belgians, strangers, tourists, workers, teenagers... Whatever you like, whatever you want, ".be welcome".
To me is the most open city branding in recent times. It's similar to the "Iamsterdam" campaign, but it is a little bit stronger because of the ".be" : this little geographic url trick will always remind you Belgium.
".be crazy / .be nice / .be curious / .be arty". Amsterdam doen't have such a strong branding. If I read "I am crazy / I am nice / I am curious / I am arty" I do not immediately recognize the brand as it should be.
Brussels found the system (of course, they already had the .be ;-) and they made a great use of it).
I agree with you. It isn't the most beautiful way to do that ;-), but the system is strong.
Their system isn't the smarter system yet, but it greatly does the job.
I think a brand can have a not-so-nice logo, it doesn't matter, you better have a strong/coherent/recognizable sign to mark all your great products/services through marketing. Think about the UPS logo (ok, the Paul Rand's version was nicer) vs the FedEX one : UPS is much better ! The logo, the van, the uniform : what a beautiful system.
But FedEX aggressively started to fight back putting their brand everywhere. I don't have the data, but the movie "Cast Away" was the biggest product placement ever to me !!! Today (at least here in France) 80% of the stuff I bought on the web comes in a FedEX box, and you know what ? When I see a white/violet/orange box I feel "better" than in front of (once my preferred) UPS one. I think, as a brand, you can have a "weak so-so" logo, what you need to succeed is a strong marketing playground and, best of all, great products !
7 out of 10 top brands of 2011 (according to Interbrand) are tech brands with "so-so" logos. We don't love them because they have nice graphics, we like them because they do good stuff and make our lives easier/better/funnier...
I think Brussels has many (already known) assets : chocolate, french fries, Magritte, the Manneken Pis, Atomium, bier, funny humor, waffles, mussels and many more. Now all this can have a branding system too ;-)
I do like the campaign idea, tho not a big fan of the fonttype... You need to let the idea grow a bit on you.
What struck me the most is that this campaign doesn't look / feel like most Base campaigns... Team got new members maybe?
This is so underwhelming - Poor choice of font and colour palette
That blue will never print.
They also did BEople Magazine years ago:
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