Before discovering a city, what we see is its name on signs, maps or lifestyle magazine’s articles praising the best 5 terraces to brunch.
A city exists through its name, but also and mostly its architectural, cultural, civic… personality. And this is the work of graphic and type designers to visually show the personality of a city in its graphic identity.
Melbourne, Bologna, and Porto, are cities whose streets and visual identities worth going out of your way to see!

Last June, the city of Porto asked 3 studios to rethink its visual identity, through a system that could organize and simplify communication with citizens.


Inspired by azulejos (blue faience tiles), national heritage and present all over city, the Portuguese studio White has designed a library of pictographic symbols, similar to some typographical ornaments. With these iconic illustrations of monuments, natural elements, specialities…, the graphic system enables to tell a lot of everyday life stories and illustrate the city with sobriety and fun. To go along with this system a bit crazy, they chose a geometric sans serif, sort of hybrid between Gotham, FF Mark and Wes FY. This association is consistent, friendly, and provides a multitude of graphic possibilities.

Discover the entire project on Behance.

Ok ok, this project dates from 2009, but it is still a pleasure to the eyes, and for those who don’t know it, here is a great reference in modular identity. This very nice project by Landor has not aged at all in 5 years.


See the entire project.

For the city identity of Bologna, Matteo Bartoli & Michele Pastore also chose to get inspiration in historical and architectural features to create a bunch of ornaments to mix according to the envy. As well as the identity of Porto, the association of signs enables many stories to tell.

See the entire project.

Un logo pour votre ville (A logo for your city) is a logo generator that decries the devastating effect of marketing in french local authorities. Created in 2008 by Adrien Zammit and Nicolas Filloque (and programmed by Geoffrey Dorne) as part of their final year dissertation whose subject was “Citoyen-Graphiste” (“Citizen-Graphic designer”). Cynical, highly effective and almost addictive.