A logo to love or hate
AUCKLAND’S new frayed A logo won’t take the place of the City of Sails, says Michael Barnett.
The red and orange A design was launched on Wednesday as a new brand for the Auckland region, to be used in tourism promotions.
It has drawn widespread criticism, with Aucklanders proving reluctant to let go of the city’s long-standing sails image.
But Auckland Regional Council deputy chairman Mr Barnett says it’s a new look for the whole region, not Auckland city.
“It’s not here to take the place of any existing brand,” he says.
“I accept that you’re going to have people who love it and people who hate it.”
But he says they should wait until they see the logo in use.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to use it and see if we can change some of those people’s minds.”
He says the logo brings together all the stories of Auckland with one consistent identity.
“It’s meant to show that sense of youthfulness in a spirited, dynamic and changing Auckland.”
The branding project cost $174,000, with $62,000 coming from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the rest from the regional council.
Mr Barnett says the amount is modest compared to the costs of branding projects in London and Melbourne.
Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney was involved in the branding process and says the negative reaction is “far too premature”.
He says the logo needs to be seen in context.
“I’m hoping there’s a plan to bring it to life.”
The brand was de- veloped by the Metro Project Action Plan, put together in 2006 by the regional council’s business arm Auckland Plus.
It followed advice from international experts that Auckland needed a strong regional brand.
A $600,000 Tourism Auckland campaign will feature the logo in promotional material and its website www. aucklandnz.com.
The brand will also be used by Film Auckland, and the New Zealand Opportunities Expo in London next month.
This week young backpackers travelling in Auckland had mixed reactions.
Christina Steil from Germany thought it symbolised the different cultures of Auckland.
“There are many different people here and they’re all different but they’re all together in the A like a big family.”
Tom Pilz, also from Germany, was less enthusiastic. “It’s a little bit crazy I think. It’s too much.”
Uniting Auckland: Michael Barnett with an example of Auckland’s new brand logo.