This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
I won’t even attempt to wax poetic about the city of Gent (also Ghent in English and Gand in French) in Belgium because, other than the amazingly picturesque photos oozing Old World charm I just browsed through and whatever I could regurgitate from Wikipedia or some other web site, I really know nothing about this city. I do know I would like to visit it. But I also know that it wouldn’t be because of a new marketing logo designed by the corporate branding division of Duval Guillaume.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I really like the new logo and I will go into that shortly. But, again, from my limited exposure (i.e., this morning’s searches) there seems to be a disconnect from the images I see and the overt attempt of the logo to be so very contemporary. From the logo and identity I get the sense that Gent is at the verge of becoming the next unknown technological or business hub of Europe or a financial center in the making. Yet I have a hard time making that connection. So, pending any insight from our Belgian readers (I know you are out there!) I will assume that there is indeed a need to portray Gent as a contemporary city.
The logo is a nice device that can hold multiple messages without missing a beat. The word is so short and has a great combination of letters that makes it look really sharp by default, but the selection of the typeface, with its hard angles and quirky notches, really helps make it a great-looking logo. The theme of the campaign is “Ghent: So Much City” which is ambitious but it works. The logo can take on a number of colors and themes and in a somewhat corny visual move, the colon can be different things like flowers or apples. It’s a nice overall effect of flexibility.
There is a very nice and comprehensive style guide online that shows the different applications and rules, including one about the logo always having its subtle drop shadow and prohibiting the use of the logo without it. This is overall a pretty good identity system for Gent.
Thanks to Lode Vermeiren for the tip.