(existing) Logo for a City ...

lars's picture

this is the logo of my hometown:


i'm looking for critique on this, even i haven't done it, but we are going to start a campaign against this logo and for a new logo... so i like to hear your critique on this one. for info:
the yelow back stands for a horseshoe (please don't ask why it's upsidedown... i have no idea). the claim "das hat was" translates something like "that got something" (sounds as wrong as the german original *g*). please help us to collect some creative critique on this one ... nearly no one in oldenburg likes it. thanks: lars

taran80's picture

it looks for me more as logotype of e-shop than as logo for a city..

andrew_baker's picture

Hey Lars,

Is the slogan, "that got something" subject to change?

What does your town do? What is its identity?
What is the environment and weather like?

Thats what I would start thinking about on a redesign. I dont know anything about Oldenburg.
I'll google it.


andrew_baker's picture

There are many swamps and moors, old canals and moats?


lars's picture

hi andrew. you can have a look at www.oldenburg.de (which does not have an english version - worth another campaign *g*) or www.oldenburg-tourist.de

it's up the north of germany, a university city, quite green, 155.000 citizens, about 650 years old, near the north sea, near to the netherlands ... hth

andrew_baker's picture

The oldenburg.de panoramas are a nice inspiration. There is lot of good color and texture the stripes on the awnings the lush greens, the brickwork. Collage some of these elements into the letters of Oldenburg?

I'm thinking about Milton Glasers illustration's and logo's for inspiration.

ebensorkin's picture

My critique is that it looks hugely dated already- quite alot like a random telecom or .com from the 90's not like a city. The idea may have been to be hip or something but from a tourism point of view I don't think it will help. It seems like a sensitive re-treatment of something with more historical gravitas could lend an air of the contemporary while keeping in touch with history. This design is also hard to read due to the arbitrary colored 'OL' so it's 1st duty is not met - to label or idenitify.

It really is monsterous. Good luck killing it off.

hrant's picture

1) It looks 80s. 1980s. Yuk.
2) I don't see any horseshoe.
3) It sucks for one-color rendering.


squeeze's picture

If I am role playing as the tourist, it doesn't tell me anything at all. There is nothing there to attract me. As an English speaking American tourist I see "OL" and "DENBURG", which reads as "Ole Denburg" or "Old Denburg". I saw the yellow horseshoe as a cropped "O" graphic representing the "O" in "Oldenburg". In relation to a location, I'm not getting the personality of the town/city from the logo. It looks like a bad identity for a shopping mall

lars's picture

"offical colors for the fast food industry" ... nice one! *g*

by the way: i hope still fits in this thread: does your city have a logo? if so, can you post it? thanks for all comments so far: lars

dan's picture

Whats bugging me is the D against the yellow horseshoe makes it shrink compared to ENBURG, the net effect it looks like three different size typefaces. The slogan makes no sense.

aquatoad's picture

My city has a logo

Well two actually. Daniel what is the NYC one with the liberty crown C and the empire silhouette in the N?


lars's picture

so? anymore city logos? i do not even know that city logos are quite common, it's maybe more about CD at all, isn't it?

William Berkson's picture

At the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, they recently had an exhibit of the artist Romare Bearden. His mural for Berkeley California had a element that was taken out as a logo for the city. Here you can see unfortunately tiny versions of the mural and logo. The original mural and the element taken out as a logo are powerful. I imagine that a bit bigger the logo would be very good, but I don't know.

The original element is a profile of the four peoples involved in the city - Native Americans, and those with ancestry in Africa, Europe, and China. All four profiles are iconic and respectful, rather than caricatures.

I would think that ideally a city logo would have this kind of strength and historical associations.

alyce's picture

It may not help you much, but there's always this one :-)

alyce's picture

And now for something completely different... Solvang is a tourist attraction in California. Here's the logo in full color and a slightly different version in one color.

squeeze's picture

Below is a collage of a few city seals/logos that I collected from California. I don't know if this is done nationwide, but most cities in California have a unique seal/logo. Very few of these seals are done well. Believe it or not these are some of the better ones.

City Seals

Hopefully, you'll be able to use these in your argument for Oldenburg. If not, you may consider going to a larger government body and pursuing a larger volume of work by selling this same type of identity campaign that California has. Initiate a nationwide identity campaign where each city has its own seal, or the equivelent.

Similarly, the US is implementing a program where each state has its own coin (25 cent quarter). These types of programs are appealing to the central government and the individual states. It allows states to identify their unique character and pride, but it does so on a centrally/federally controlled medium. Uniformity allowing for individuality

lars's picture

hey scott, thanks for this "massive" selection *g* ... really looking forward to see some other cities on this topic. thanks: lars

dan's picture

What they are currently doing in NYC is a revival of I "heart" NY more than ever, campaign.

Hendrik's picture

Since the country I live in is smaller than some bigger city I find it suit's here nicely.

Welcome to Estonia

Here in Estonia we have bed-linen in hotels, vodka lices and all sort of stuff with that sign. Our biggest airline company has it on the side of it's jets and so on. Pretty fresh and simple & fit's everywhere : )

agitprop's picture

this is the logo of the city

the tourist logo

i dont know what this is for

tsprowl's picture

my citi has a logo too http://www.ottawa.com
slogan and all sorts of stuff to go with it.

in fact my country has a logo/standards and everything - I think Canada was the first with the "Federal Identity Program" and FIP police (as we call them) who enforce the rules of application all managed by a Treasury Board

hrant's picture

Vienna is a great city - those graphics are a disgrace.


RAWTYPE's picture

do reasoch on city, and for get about that log do your own thing....
good loock....
i like to se wht you com up whit.

aluminum's picture

I love that Estonia mark! Very fresh.

Apparently, my city just got a new logo last month:

Not sure if I like it yet.

Our twin has a nice mark as well. Hardly refined, but it has a nice retro feel to it:


2vpe's picture

A little blurb about the city branding phenomenon in Canada, http://www.geocities.com/vince_escanlar/a03-3.html#030317 - about a dozen Canadian examples. I'm not a fan at all of my hometown's new logo (http://www.regina.ca/images/logo.gif).

titus n.'s picture

may i suggest a little modification..

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