Visual Language – City Branding
The first time I visited Andorra, a small sovereign situated between France and Spain, I was shocked by the fact such a small and unknown place exists, being what you might call ‘under the grid’. Andorra during winter time, is home to some of the best snow in the area, but with that being said, it is nothing like other over-priced, over-rated, tea drinking in the evening spots for snow lovers, rather it’s all about riding hard, and partying hard, and so this is how my love story with Andorra La Vella starts.
- Step 1 – Analysis:
Andorra La Vella is home to 22,000 residents and is the highest capital city in Europe rising at 3,356 ft. During the summer time, it enjoys very warm weather for a short period which changes to very cold winters and what makes Andorra especially worthwhile, it’s unbelievable snow and wide mountain ridges, which are nothing short but paradise for ski and snowboarding.
That being said, in terms of design, branding, and visual language, Andorra hasn’t really used its strengths to build itself a ‘brand’ , which might be one reason for why it’s remained relatively unknown.
To illustrate the aforementioned point Andorra La Vella’s current logo
After some research and identification, here are some of the problems and ideas the new logo (and visual language) needs to emphasize:
- Use Andorra La Vella’s breathtaking mountain view which is also its biggest selling point, snow. With that being said, also try to speak the visual language patterns found in other snow wear, skiing resorts and snow related design.
- Refresh it’s current identity to a younger, more modern and bolder design.
- Being that Andorra is a sovereign that has several cities and regions, devise a design that could be modular to serve other areas in Andorra.
As I started examining related snow related design, I decided the design for Andorra must feature it’s breathtaking Pyrenees mountain ridge. I used vector drawing technique to outline a mountain ridge stencil.
For the typography, I wanted to include a heavy, geometric Sans-Serif font for the first part of the name (i.e Andorra), and have the second part of the name in a different font. The main reason for this is both a design decision, but also a modularity concern, as Andorra is the name of the sovereign, but every city has a different add-on name, the logo could be used as an arc design language for every city. Fonts used are Simona Sans-Serif and HucklebuckJF for the script.
The outcome logo
After some thought, and research into other snow related design I found that emblem design is quite common, and decided it would make sense to have this logo in a badge (emblem) format as well for merchandise and specific uses and so went on to made this badge derivative of the logo
To emphasize how the design could be used for more tactile applications I made a t-shirt (which are a very common city branding commodity), which features the city’s redesigned logo on the back.