Dating back to the fourteenth century, Saint-Didier-au-Mont-d’Or is a commune in the city of Lyon in Rhone-Alpes region in eastern France. It has a small population of over 6,000 Désidériens and one of the only traits listed in its Wikipedia page is that it has the second highest per capita income of any French commune. Recently, the office of the mayor introduced a new identity designed by Paris- and Lyon-based Graphéine.
The name “Saint-Didier-au-Mont-d’Or” is particularly long. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that these five words are linked together by these four hyphens. The symbol of the hyphen is the “encounter” different sections of the same object which generates meaning, that of preserving vital link between all the people, all generations, associative dynamics and the municipal team . By choosing to make this typographical sign the identity element of the city, it is primarily to make the promise of creating links. Link between town and country, connecting people, between generations…
The previous logo was a variation on the commune’s coat of arms (see below). Nothing wrong with it, nothing memorable either. The new logo takes the most difficult aspect of this destination’s name — four hyphens — and turns it into its most distinctive visual asset by doubling down on the hyphenitis, giving the same shape to the tittle of the “i” and the apostrophe in “d’or”. It’s a very smart solution that yields a rather festive logo. I kind of wish the font selection was something else — Apercu is not a bad type at all but this seems ripe for a more particular typographic choice. Nonetheless, it’s a great logo.
This is a really nice reduction of the coat of arms, keeping the red diagonal and the horn-blowing instrument in the negative space. It pairs very well with the logo too.
In application, the hyphens extend nicely into a loosely-spaced pattern that looks like fancy confetti against the dark blue backgrounds. The extension of the hyphen concept gets pushed a little far in the above applications by setting headlines and titles with hyphens instead of spaces. It’s understandable but maybe at some point 20 hyphens in one layout is 10 too many. Overall, though, the identity strikes a nice balance of contemporary, playful, and a bit of seriousness. Now, if one of those 6,000 high-income capitas would pony up the money for a new website, this commune will be ready to roll big.