Old City, New Identity
January 6, 2011 ‐ 1 comment



Cartagena de Indias was formally founded as a city on June 1st, 1533, but the area in and around what is now Colombia's 5th largest urban area has been inhabited since 7000 BC. 9000 years later, the City's Tourist Office and Spanish design firm CIAC have unveiled the city's new identity:

The president of CIAC explains that while Cartagena has traditionally leveraged its Caribbean location and historical assets (the city boasts the largest colonial fortress in all of South America), it was missing the opportunity to highlight its modernity and diversity.

Our take?

Aesthetically it's a little Vegas for us. Strategically it's an empty vessel.

Tourism is a major component of Cartagena's economic activity, and arguably the one where a logo can make the most difference. Commercial interests involved in shipping, import/export and manufacturing matter greatly, but an identity system will sway them less than it will holidaymakers choosing among potential destinations.

This new logo isn't off-putting, but it doesn't put a stake in the ground either. The english 'World Heritage City' implies that the designers were thinking about international visitors more than domestic ones. If that's the intended target for a campaign using this logo, then we're not so sure moving from Caribbean and colonial imagery to an abstract multi-colored flame was the right decision.

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January 7, 2011 11:35 am
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