Multilingual Business Communication

April 6, 2009

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue

Filed under: internship, marketing communication, Valérie Debrauwere — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:51 am

20090205_gent2Does this “hideous blue thing” look familiar to you? As of now it is the new logo that will be used to promote the city of Ghent. The logo was designed by an advertising agency, Duval Guillaume. So long to the old, classic design with the three towers embedded as the ultimate symbol of the historic city. Apparently they needed something new and blue.

However it’s not a complete farewell to the old logo. To make it even more confusing: this new logo will only be used as part of a communication plan to promote the city abroad. On top of that, the logo seems to be borrowed as well. Many have already pointed out the resemblance to other logos. Clearly the logo creates some controversy.

One of the main rules in creating a succesful logo is that there shouldn’t be too much explanation needed to understand the meaning of it. But “where does that colon lead to” and “what is meant by so much town”? In view of the many reactions that have already been posted on Gentblogt, the most important blog of the city, one can see that’s where Ghent or Duval Guillaume probably went wrong.

Soon, I will start my internship at the city of Ghent, where one of my tasks will be to assist in providing legal advice regarding the use of logos. Allow me this last outburst of opinion, hereafter I am available to provide completely impartial advice.

(Valérie Debrauwere)



  1. This discussion reminds me of the argument about the new logo of Studio Brussel in 2003. These days, Studio Brussel is more popular than ever, possibly also thanks to its vivid and fresh logo.
    A lot of people always have an aversion towards change. I think this new logo looks young and dynamic, just like the city of Ghent.

    (Sander Laridon)

    Comment by Sander Laridon — April 9, 2009 @ 6:44 am

  2. It’s certainly not a coincidence that this discussion reminds you of the one about the “2003 Studio Brussel logo”. After all, that logo was also created by the ever so genius Duval Guillaume.
    I disagree that these arguments always have to do with fear for change. It’s also, and above all, a question of taste. And as they say: “there is no accounting for tastes”.

    Valérie Debrauwere

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 9, 2009 @ 7:37 am

  3. I don’t think it is only a question of taste. My main criticism on this new logo is that it has absolutely no connection with Ghent, in contrast to the former logo of the town (the one with the 3 towers). It could just as well be used for any other town.
    The city is trying to make it their own by adapting it to certain events or situations, like they did for Flikkenparty.
    I find it even more disappointing no reaction came to the protests on Gentblogt and on Facebook, whereas Ghent is putting so much effort in getting in touch with its inhabitants.

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 11, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

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