Designer defends ‘energy and optimism’ of new Belfast logo

One of the brains behind the new logo to promote Belfast has defended the branding as reflecting the “energy and optimism” around the city in 2017.

A leaked image of the design was widely criticised last week as lacking originality, however, one of its creators has gone public to explain the thinking behind the “flexible and dynamic” symbol he hopes will become synonymous with Belfast for many years to come.

The George Best hotel in Belfast city centre, due to open next year, is the first major project to carry the new, adaptable logo being used to promote the city.

The George Best hotel in Belfast city centre, due to open next year, is the first major project to carry the new, adaptable logo being used to promote the city.

Glenn Stewart of McCadden Design said it was disappointing that a single version of such an adaptable logo – which can be used in the brand colours of any body or organisation wishing to promote the city – was put into the public domain before a more informative launch could take place.

“The filler is any colour you like...whatever suits the imagery, whatever suits the message,” he said.

The George Best hotel project in Belfast city centre is the first major public use of the new starburst symbol and how it can reflect a variety of enterprises.

It is understood the total cost of the 16-strong team’s initial design of the logo, creation of a new website and the sharing of information about the project was £45,000.

The McCadden designed new logo to promote Belfast

The McCadden designed new logo to promote Belfast

Mr Stewart said the design’s outline is a representation of how the city appears on satellite images, and added: “Belfast, inside that shape, is the core brand mark but it can be any colour inside it, it can be any pattern, any image that’s appropriate.

“I do genuinely think this has long-term potential. The earliest place brand was ‘I love New York’ (I ♥ NY) which was done in 1976 and still loved today. We are not putting ourselves in the same place as Milton Glaser, the guy who did that, but if people take to it, it will last 20, 30, 40 years.”