Established in 2012 by the City of Oslo, Oslo Business Region is an initiative to create awareness about Oslo as a knowledge and business region. It focuses on multiple things like increasing the number of startups in the city, establishing Oslo as one of the most innovative cities in Europe, and monitoring and analyzing other cities to keep Oslo on track. Recently, they introduced a new logo designed by local firm Metric.
We aimed to make a timeless and iconic logotype for Oslo that was both positive and energetic. By replacing the L with an exclamation mark, the name itself becomes the logo and may be written in any font.
Well, what you see is what you get, isn’t it? I mean… isn’t it! Changing an “i” or an “l” to an exclamation point isn’t the most novel of ideas but typically this approach is set in bubbly typefaces or accompanied by starbursts or the exclamation point set at a fun angle. What makes this interesting is the contrast with both the spare sans serif — Lineto’s Circular, of course — and the buttoned-up name of Oslo Business Region. It’s almost like a mullet: business on the front, party in the back.
In the canon of business and destination logos like I [Heart] NY or I amsterdam it may not be the most outstanding example… yet. I think its simplicity may carry over for a number of years and will depend on how much use it gets from the city. Right now it feels small and contained whereas, for example again, the I amsterdam campaign was fairly visible. Nonetheless, I raise an exclamation point in its favor for a simple solution!