Cape Town’s new logo cost millions

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Copy of IOL  patricia de lille Cape Argus Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille File picture: Jason Boud

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has spent millions redesigning its logo and pay-off line, but has yet to reveal what this new identity will look like, or how much it will cost to implement.

Paul Boughey, chief of staff in the mayor’s office, had only this to say: “(The mayoral committee) has approved a submission that will allow council to consider the adoption of new corporate identity and pay-off line for the City of Cape Town. Until such time as council has considered this submission it would be inappropriate to discuss in any more detail.”

The submission was approved this week by the mayoral committee during a session that was closed to the media and the public.

Boughey said all the necessary information would be considered by the council when it met on Wednesday, and a decision would be made.

Councillors contacted on Wednesday did not know anything about the proposed new logo, which was reportedly unveiled by mayor Patricia de Lille at a recent event for the city’s “top 500” managers.

Two people who attended the event spoke to the Cape Argus on condition of anonymity, saying the new branding resembled the flower-like BP logo.

Several managers at the event reportedly complained that the trademark Table Mountain design of the oldlogo would be replaced with something more abstract.

There were also concerns the logo had been chosen “in secret” without any public participation.

“It will cost hundreds of millions to implement and yet (the city doesn’t) have the budget for houses and toilets,” said one of the managers who saw the new logo.

The Cape Argus has been unable to obtain a copy of the logo.

The city said it would only be able to answer questions about the name of the agency involved, the cost of appointing this agency and the estimated cost of implementing the logo after the council meeting next week.

It is unclear whether the city invited tenders for the new logo, or if the new branding was chosen in an open adjudication process.

The current logo, which features Table Mountain, was designed in 2003 by leading advertising agency Ogilvy. It carries the strapline: “This city works for you.”

The logo featured prominently at high-profile local and international events and occasions, including the 2010 World Cup and the bid for the World Design Capital title.

But the tagline has also been the subject of derision, with service delivery protesters saying the “city only works for some”.

The cost of implementing the new logo is expected to have huge implications for the city.

Carol Avenant, a former communications director in Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s office, is the head of the city’s integrated strategic communication and branding department, responsible for “owning and driving” the review of the city’s brand strategy.

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Cape Argus

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