This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
It’s funny to recall “design memories” and I never thought I would look back to 2001 with a weird sense of nostalgia when Landor introduced the identity for Brand Hong Kong (BHK), it felt like the culmination of great work after big successes like FedEx, John Deere and BP. At the time, it was one of the most prominent efforts to brand a destination and Landor had done it pretty amazingly. Managed by the Government’s Information Services Department, the goal, then and now, for BHK is simply to establish the city as not only the most cosmopolitan city in Asia but around the world — to be more specific, BHK must communicate “Cosmopolitan, Secure, Dynamic, Diverse, and Connected” as attributes of the city, and “Free, Enterprising, Quality Living, Innovative, and Excellence” as its values. After nine years, the identity has been revised.
The visual identity of BrandHK, which has taken on a more contemporary look, maintains the virtues of the original dragon logo — a mythical and powerful icon that links the city’s historic past with its energetic modernity. It also incorporates the letters “H” and “K”, the acronym for “Hong Kong”.
The blue and green ribbons that extend from the dragon symbolise blue sky and a sustainable environment, while Lion Rock — which represents the Hong Kong people’s “can-do” spirit — is silhouetted by the red ribbon. The fluid shape of the ribbons evokes versatility, and the multiple colours signify the city’s diversity and dynamism.
— Communicating Brand Hong Kong
As previously stated, I have always liked the BHK identity — despite the use of Eurostile (sorry, I just think it’s a dopey font) — especially the simplicity of the dragon and how it managed to look both a little fierce and welcoming at the same time. The new dragon has slightly curlier hair, a bigger nose and glazed eyes. It has definitely lost some personality. It’s also kind of comical that the new dragon has to one-up the old one by saying “Pfff, a red to orange gradient… this is how you do a gradient, red to orange to purple.” But the worst addition is the tail as it minimizes the dragon in exchange for a distracting mess of tassels, one of which happens to look like a rock. On a positive note, the typography is much improved and feels more contemporary and appropriate.
Like any overdone color logo, this one suffers when it goes to a single color version, becoming, well, boring. There is also an additional type-only lock-up that is fairly simple and strong, although at small sizes those little nudges are irrelevant.
Finally, there is, um, this. A completely disjointed and half-baked set of icons that aim to collect everything and anything Honk Kong. In application they are at least reduced to fairy dust so they are not as annoying and almost begin to look interesting, but it’s like trying to make chocolate milk out of powder dust. BHK probably needed a visual facelift after almost ten years, but this was definitely not it.