Branding Blog

City Logos Around The World & What We Feel About Them

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Have you ever wondered why a city would need a logo? Just like any product, a city needs to have a brand for numerous reasons. When the city has a solid brand presence, it helps to boost tourism and business, build and maintain reputation, handle crisis management, and attract new residents and industry. Ultimately, it’s to reinforce a positive image of the city in the eyes of its people and the world.

And you’ve probably heard of the Kuala Lumpur city logo fiasco that got the whole Internet (yes, that includes you) complaining about it. Well, we can see why when it’s being compared with some of the best city logos listed below.



Designed by:
Milton Glaser

Designer’s Rationale:
The form and the content were united in a way that could not be taken apart. The characters were in a “stack”, where the “I” and the heart sat on top of the letters “NY”. It’s been “subliminally” influenced by the American Pop artist Robert Indiana’s steel sculpture Love, which was first shown in New York in 1970. (Indiana’s work stacks the letters “L” and “O” above “V” and “E”.)

Our 2 cents:
It’s simple and it feels good. It’s like the ‘double tap’ of the 1970’s in the form of a logo.



Designed by:

Designer’s Rationale:
“I amsterdam,” has an instantly recognisable quality of Milton Glaser’s famous “I <3 NY logo”, from which it most certainly drew some inspiration. But instead of hearting its city, I amsterdam invites you to become a part of it: I amsterdam and you can be too.

Our 2 cents:
We love it, particularly because of the wordplay. It’s clear, short, powerful and memorable.



Designed by:
Sydney office of Landor

Designer’s Rationale:
The ‘M’ design is synonymous with the modern, vibrant, cool city Melbourne is today and will continue to be in the future.

Our 2 cents:
We love it because it looks really vibrant and edgy. However, we feel that the logo may be mistaken as an art museum or a video game.



Designed by:
Kazufumi Nagai of Hakuhodo Design

Designer’s Rationale:
The “&” expresses Tokyo’s many ways of making connections. Any word that describes an experience or attraction of Tokyo can be inserted in front of the “&” to expand the meaning.

Our 2 cents:
It’s a clever way to create engagement and for people to make their own meaning and value in association with the city.

And then we have this:


kuala lumpur

Designed by:

Designer’s Rationale:
The colour silver for the word Kuala Lumpur is meant to reflect the city’s tin mining roots.

Our 2 cents:
Exciting. Surprising. Enticing. In all the wrong ways.

Branding a city takes more than just logo and taglines. However, a logo is the first thing a prospective customer sees. You seldom get a second chance to make a good first impression. So make it work!

It’s the same as how you would present yourself as a person. You need to know what your unique qualities are and make the best representation out of it. At the end of the day, you just need to mean what you say, and say what you mean.

What stories does your logo tell about your brand?
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