And now for something completely different. I have little information on this so we’ll have to roll along with it: Mao Er’ is a cultural and creative district in the western Chinese city of ChongQing trying to be positioned as a cultural, shopping, and tourism destination. Told you I had little information but the work is a trip, so that might make up for it. The identity for the project was designed by Beijing-based g.d.partner.
The brand idea comes from a legend story of the project site, a cat from the heaven ran to the bank of the river and fell asleep and turned to a stone, so the names is called maoer shi(stone). We referred Chongqing local language pronunciation to make the name of the project: meow Er shi- a dynamic name. We want to make the legend of the story into a new legend.
There are lots of brand images using cat, how to create a unique cat image and to meet the project’s properties and positioning, is the biggest challenge we face and the most exciting part.
The one thing I need to know you didn’t miss is the part that answers “What’s with the cats?”. It’s based on a legend of a cat that came from the heaven to the district, ran, fell asleep, and turned to stone. Hence, cats. With that in mind, I find the logo to be quite endearing and well thought-out. As a standalone rendering of a cat it’s interesting enough but with the ears and face making an “M” it becomes more appropriate. The accompanying typography is okay, it fits with the cat drawing but maybe feels too techno-y. The logo turns flexible in three stylings: as a thin stroke with silhouetted imagery in it, as a solid shape made of patterns, and as the usual logo-as-window. I wish they had figured a way to integrate the tail of the cat from the main logo as that’s a big part of what makes it work. Nonetheless, a cat logo with jumping cats coming out of it will always get my attention.
In application, despite a seemingly random range of directions it all makes sense when seen together as in the image above. There are a lot of diagonals, there are times with the patterned logo is used always on the bottom right corner, there is a questionable “Cool Fun! Cool Play!” tagline that mass some appearances, and it’s all colorful as a cat on acid. This is far from the typical work we see on Brand New and it’s not perfect but, sometimes, seeing this kind of unbridled excitement and looseness is a good reminder that not everything has to be buttoned up.