A logo to love or hate

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

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.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Unit­ing Auck­land: Michael Bar­nett with an ex­am­ple of Auck­land’s new brand logo.

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