Coimbra - Quintiles logos

adriano's picture

The city where I live (Coimbra, Portugal)presented us the new identity and logo last week on a big party with a Michael Nyman show and everything... I intended to present the logo in these phoruns to ask for a typographic expert oppinion (Something on the type is just wrong to me) but now the thing got even more interesting! Someone found a simmilar logo of a company called Quintiles Transnational..

The designer of coimbra's logo says the logo represents a serpent (found on the old coimbra's Blazon). I still don't know why he splitted the Word in to COIM + BRA.

The quintiles logo represents a Q, I guess.

1. I still can't decide if this is plain Coincidence or a bloody ripp-off. What do you typophiles think?

2. Can you express the feedback on coimbra's logos? Is it balanced? Is the O logo on the COIMBRA word just placed without any care? And what abou the C

hrant's picture

That cut circle is such a simple construct, it's probably not ripped off.

As for the type, to me Trajan itself is a bad choice, and when you throw in funny distortions and gratuitous letterform carnage, well... :-/


tsoler's picture

I am not an expert...though i can say
that the composition of the elements
seems disturbing to me.
Esspecially that river the "De" leaves
in the "camara municipal de Coimbra".

The "de" ligature is illegible and would
make more sence as a ligature of "ed".

The "M" in "Coimbra" is from a different
font..?(why?) and the "O"-logotype in
the word "Coimbra" just doesn't fit,
esspecially when compined with this
long-tailed "R".

In conclusion from the few things I know
for Coimbra (the historical university and the
great tradition of Fado) I think it deserves
an id which carries historical values and this
cannot be achieved with that simple "O" form.

ah...and when the "Coimbra" is splited to
COIM....BRA! you cannot avoid thinking about
Eva Herzingova...

OK! i think i've been a bad boy today.
there was no purpose to insult anyone,
i just tried to express what i really felt
about the design...which is great comparing
to our sign of Thessaloniki. By the way six
months ago i designed logos for the municipality
and trust don't want to get involved
with those people who take decisions.
They have a charisma to manipulate everything
in order to end up terrible.

Good day to everybody!

ricardo's picture

Hello Adriano, I saw recently this logo (Coimbra) I had a strange felling about the combination betten the symbol (very grotesque) and the lettering
(Roman). Anyway its strange the coencidence betten the two samples that you show (very coencidence) . As Christos said the ligature D is lost in that line (ilegible). The tail of the capital (R) is two must decorative if we compare all the logo. Thank's for this samples and observations.


simon's picture

"That cut circle is such a simple construct, it's probably not ripped off."

Probably not, but the question 'what makes this cut circle look like a serpent?' (rather than a worm, a roll of PlayDoh, a piece of rope, etc.) doesn't seem to have been addressed.

hrant's picture

> what makes this cut circle look like a serpent?

Well, you can't be too literal. The way this stuff works (one hopes) is that people who already have an association of Coimbra/serpent will quickly notice and appreciate the subtle reference.

And the thing does have a head!


adriano's picture

yes it has :-)

simon's picture

"Well, you can't be too literal"

Obviously. But you can't be too generic either. I would contend that there isn't a "subtle" reference here but a pretentious/poorly-crafted/imperceptive/obtuse one.

I haven't got an axe to grind here but lazy logos posturing under a tortured rationale really annoy me.

(I hope I'm not pissing anyone off...)

simon's picture

Besides, it may have a head but, as Adriano's amendment demonstrates, it doesn't have a tail. Adriano's gif looks more like an eel. Or is it supposed to be eating its tail? In this case it doesn't, in fact, have the head that is claimed for it.

I really don't think many people would see this logo as a stylized snake

adriano's picture

I just got a copy of the identity book that was made for the Coimbra identity and he presentes this old illustration as the origin of the logo

At the end, and besides the simmilarity & the confusing typography what puzzles me more is that it doesn't represent the city as a whole... Coimbra is not know for snakes, or serpents and it's simbolism as an "insuflator of life" and plenty other analogies (it's a big booklet) doesn't convice me in 100%. I only question now how will the foreign people will think looking at this logo..

hrant's picture

It's funny, eh, Gerald? You don't see an Ouroboros for years, then you see two in the same week!


adriano's picture

Well, the story was into some newspapers. It's in portuguese, here's a link to the story on one of the biggest Portuguese newspaper, P

spiral's picture

...and in a odd coincidence this weekend i saw (and recognized, thanks to this thread) the quinitiles logo outside an office building.

arturo's picture

HaHaHaHa Indeed worse that's the same link from above HaHaHaHa ;)

simon's picture

I know, I was quoting your post, hence the ">"

> HaHaHaHa ;)

arturo's picture

Ooops too many Ouroboros for today ;-)

tsprowl's picture

the weight of the O to the rest bother me...looks like a mistake in smaller sizes.

arturo's picture

The whole composition is very irregular "conceptually" speaking, the simplified Ouroboros and the typography seems so apart, to make it worse the thick horizontal line serves as a "border" separating even more the two elements (our beloved snake ;) and the Coimbra typography)

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