Ajuntament de Barcelona:
Designing the way the city
talks to people
What we did
The logo / signature
A city council is involved in every single aspect of the life of a city. Public works, health, education, culture, mobility… among thousands of other things. Museums, hospitals, ports, public bikes, sport facilities, even the zoo… the list goes on. But Barcelona’s City Council realized that citizens weren’t aware of the great number of things the council was involved in because each branch of the council had an independent branding system. That’s why, for the first time in their history, Barcelona decided to unify the visual branding for all the City Council’s branches and departments in a single communications system.
We were approached to capture the shift in the Council’s brand architecture and create a flexible yet very recognizable system that could be applied transversally. Every piece of material to be published or broadcasted by the Barcelona City Council had to follow the guidelines we developed. Creating a very simple visual system was a hugely complex task, but the system we created was solid enough to withstand the ultimate test: the test of time. Almost 10 years later, the signature system we designed is still being used without any major modifications.
The great number of materials and the diversity of messages that this logo signifies across the city made simplicity vital. However, it was essential that we did not sacrifice visibility in the pursuit of rationalization. When the city addresses its people, it is important that everyone knows who is speaking.
What we did
“Thinking about people. Making Barcelona thrive” was an important message to deliver. We’re working to make this city a better place to live. That’s the spirit behind the city’s public works.
What we did
Barcelona has more than 50 civic centres across its neighbourhoods that deliver cultural and social activities for the community.
As each centre had its own way of communicating its activities, the effectiveness of communication varied from centre to centre. The centres with greater resources had a more professional approach to the design of their communication pieces, but the more modest ones simply did what they could.
After having worked on the visual branding and works signage, the City Council commissioned us to develop a series of tools to unify the communication system across the city’s community centres.
One of the key points in this process was to ensure the greater democratization of these tools, allowing both the centres with more resources and the humbler ones to use them without the need for experts to apply the designs. To enable this, all templates that are part of the communication system are available for use with professional tools (Adobe CC) and in formats more accessible to the general public (Microsoft Office).