São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and one of the most populated cities in the world with 10 million people in the city proper, being close to 19 million counting the surrounding metropolitan area, and it receives an additional 10 million visitors a year. All in all, lots of people in a city with lots to do and lots to see. This month the São Paulo Turismo agency introduced a new identity designed by Romulo Castillho to help propel the city forward with a unified message as it enters a busy decade with the World Cup and Summer Olympic Games. Ideafixa posted a detailed interview with Romulo and has a few more images.
The logo is meant to represent both the diversity and variety of people and cultures in São Paulo as well as being a loose depiction of the metropolis with roads and avenues that converge climactically at its center. While this premise could apply to a dozen of the largest cities in the world there is something particularly… well, Brazilian, about it. I couldn’t see this working for other large cities in South America like Argentina or Colombia. It’s bold, colorful, and festive. It lacks some cultural specificity — as Peru, for example, was so well able to do — and it feels like it champions style over substance, even though it is grounded in plenty of research as the linked interview reveals.
There is a nice connection between the wordmark and the exploding (imploding?) shapes with one corner being rounded and the others straight. (I say this acknowledging that in the past I have berated this technique, but it’s properly pulled off here). We could debate the placement and sizes of the shapes but that would be pretty useless… and thinking of it, it would have been nice if there were different configurations for a flexible identity. The typography is Gotham-ish without being overly Gotham, perhaps it’s the tilde over the “a” that takes into less common territory. My favorite aspect of the identity is the cropping and tiling of the shapes which create a lovely 1950s, Alving Lustig-esque, Happy Modernist vibe. Overall, it’s a very nicely executed identity with plenty of potential.