When Birmingham was bidding to become European Capital of Culture in 2008 we were asked to create a brand to promote Birmingham's impressive cultural and artistic heritage and credentials. The identity needed to be inclusive, challenging and engaging... with the flexibility to evolve and remain fresh during the lead up to the event and beyond.
The objectives for the project were to create the following: A brand that will challenge the local, national and international perception of Birmingham. A brand that will challenge the preconception of what [culture] is about – through juxtaposition of image and message. A simple, strong yet flexible marque with the ability to convey all that Birmingham has to offer. Ability to target messaging to various audiences to get 'buy in'; from key decision makers through to local communities. Persuade the individual that they are creative, and able to appreciate culture and creativity. Suitability for a wide variety of media and unusual deployment.
Our final solution used a creative take on the 'B' of Birmingham – using 'Be...' as a central theme that can have infinite contexts 'bolted on' (e.g Be involved). This theme centred around a strong and recognisable Be logo in a fresh and interchangeable colour pallette. The consistent call to action always featured 'Be in Birmingham' encouraging the public to explore what the city has to offer, and discover their own take on what culture is.
Birmingham City Council – European Capital of Culture bid