A city of medium size, situated in the north of Poland. Halfway between two big centres – Szczecin and Tri-City. When we asked random people what associations they have with the city, most of them replied: „none”. Its residents, on the other hand, have a very positive attitude towards their town or are even in love with it. Koszalin.
The formula which has been functioning so far – „Koszalin. Full of life” has burnt out. The slogan was too general and ineffective as a carrier of strategic principles of the brand, which resulted in the lack of clear and distinctive associations.
The consultations, which have been carried out among residents of the city for almost a year, have been confirmed. A series of meetings with local business representatives, non-governmental, culture, science and sport organisations as well as other circles was summed up with a report. And this is how the concept for „Koszalin – Centre of Pomerania” was born – and Rio’s task was to translate it into the language of communication. From our point of view – as branding and design consultants – it’s an advantageous situation when communication can be based on facts rather than aspirations.
We wanted to express Koszalin’s identity as young at heart, creative, open and energetic; a dynamic place, which is one of the leaders in its category. A creative city which attracts talent, but also proves to have a very pragmatic approach to investment and innovation. The new slogan takes on the role of promoting the real resources of Koszalin, which concentrates in itself the potential of the region. Tourism, economy and culture are the areas in which Koszalin’s significance is increasingly growing. The slogan such as „The Centre of Pomerania” is a precise way to position the city and the new visual identity reflects these features.
Koszalin’s position as the most important city of the region is established by talented and worthy people. The geographical situation is only a pretext to create coherent narration, which will also include the stories which are yet to be written.
The starting point of the communication is a modern sign in robust colours. The inspiration for designing the colour palette was the city’s crest. The two distinctive elements in the sign are the ones which distinguish Koszalin – its centrality and its true Pomeranian character. The visual identity built for Koszalin uses the dynamic elements of the logo, building an expressive communication – as vital as the life of the city itself. The shape of the logo also corresponds slightlty to the municipal crest.
Another integral part of the new visual identification system is way finding, that is navigation elements as well as internal and external building signage. We resolved to steer clear of aggressive and intrusive interference in the city landscape in favour of more neutral and elegant solutions. We suggested a concept consisting of light elements based on iconography, simple typography and top quality materials, which will result in introducing more order into the public area of the city. It will also create an opportunity to raise awareness of the visual culture among residents.
We also sought to simplify the communication by use of umbrella branding in order to unify a range of various units and the ever-growing portfolio of different initiatives, programs, services, events and activities. Thanks to this approach, the concept envisions space for building communication of municipal companies, areas of the city’s activity or even individual districts.
This last aspect is especially important to us, because it translates to building quality and sense of community among the residents of the civic city. This is the reason why the new visual identification should celebrate the people connected with this place, as their activity contributes to the city being an important economic, cultural, educational, entertainment and tourist centre. Our work only reveals the image of the brand and expresses Koszalin’s identity.