Creating a destination brand
Branding, Graphic design
LEÓN, as a city and tourist destination, is not exempt from the current challenges of communication, and for this reason and with the intention of connecting with the public, it was decided that the city needed a new brand. León, through this new identity, seeks to develop a conceptual and visual system that successfully portrays the essence of the city in order to promote it as a unique destination.
The brand needed to be contemporary but also forward-looking and had to meet both external and internal requirements: on the one hand, to present itself as an attractive destination for tourism, investment, entrepreneurship, events… and, on the other hand, to represent its personality, integrating its values and its history, bringing together the different sensibilities of its people.
What was our challenge?
The aim of this new brand was to show the essence of León in the most modern and attractive way possible, achieving a versatile, elastic and dynamic strong brand.
This global brand had to allow León to create a strong identity for itself. A destination brand has to establish a clear positioning that provides meaning and a sustainable competitive advantage.
The brand León has to represent the city as a whole, so it includes a series of sub-brands, taking into account its history, its traditions, its heritage, its culture, its climate, its location, its language, …
What did we do?
We started our usual team creative process for this branding project:
1. Exhaustive reading of the briefing to extract the key points
2. Product and sector research
3. Brainstorming to generate ideas and proposals
4. Graphic implementation of the proposals obtained
5. Process of discrimination of the least appropriate ideas
6. Objective evaluation matrix for the final selection of the proposal
7. Graphic development to combine need, possibility and desire
8. Suitability test of the result to check that it complied with the briefing
The first thing was to conceptualize our brand, so we focused on the origins of León, its birth as the camp of a Roman legion and its most characteristic landmark, the Cathedral, which was also built on top of Roman baths. From both, we choose two very different and similar elements at the same time: mosaics of the Roman period, which were used to decorate and tell stories, and the stained glass windows of the Cathedral, which 1300 years later still serve the same purpose. And of course, something that has not really changed over the years, nor will it ever change: the light. Anyone who has been in León would agree that it has its own particular and unique light.
Then, we gave shape to our brand, turning it into a window that lets in the light of León, channelling and catalysing all the activity of the city. Inside, the brand the word León, in a sans serif typography, legible, clear, simple, timeless. Perfect for small sizes and prints of all kinds. This typeface conveys modernity, security and optimism. We retouched each letter and the accent to achieve the desired proportions and personality. As for the colour of the brand, we chose dark grey, almost black, which symbolises elegance, nobility and objectivity. It also stands for sobriety, sophistication, power, modernity and, above all, it is timeless and strong. Black is the mixture of all pigmented colours.
Subsequently, we developed the required sub-brands, choosing the colours in line with what each one represents. All of them always have to work with the word León. These coloured pieces, these tiles that form the new León mosaic, are presented and organised in two types of tourism products, but at the same level, and they all represent León in a harmonious and simultaneous way. This way, a monolithic model of brand architecture is created.
With this brand we met all the initial requirements:
– León becomes a graphic brand that modernises the image of the city
– It facilitates recognition of the destination
– It conveys the image of an open and modern city
– It works perfectly in different media and on different backgrounds and formats
– It offers a coherent hierarchy and allows the coexistence of brands