Wednesday 4 November 2009

New logo, same old plans

When an organisation is worried where it's at, you need to take action. So what do they do? Change their logo.

Advance Cairns, who likes to champion the catch-phrase that the lame-duck media use from their spoon-fed press releases as the region's "peak economic body". A similar term is used for Tourism Tropical North Queensland: "peak tourism body."

Today they launch a new logo, complete with a rather fancy explanation.

The new logo, known as "the Weave, is a representation of the interlocking purpose of Advance Cairns," they promoters say. "It's designed to represent strength and unity, the weave indicates the rich fabric of purpose - of which Advance Cairns bases its fundamentals."

Oh, this tripe is right up with there with the infamous mission statements of the 1980's that we all used to cringe at as we walked into the office.

They state that this weave forms a "solid uniformly square shape - based on the context of containment and the ideal that the square represents solidarity and strength." If this was the case, we'd has seen a great deal more outcomes and practical ideas on the road, for our quarter of a million that us ratepayers throw as this quango every year.

Now I agree that there's a valuable role for such a body, however under the former mayor's tenure, it had a sole focus of annual corporate retreats to China and Guam. Full stop.

The fancy new corporate logo, that we all helped pay for, probably at least $40,000, is four pieces of "fabric." Evidently this represents four "distinct audiences of Advance Cairns and those that it may touch: Business and Industry, the TNQ Community, all levels of Government, and the Stakeholders of Advance Cairns."

"The two top pieces of fabric share a colour orientation and provide the overarching "umbrella" to which all things come underneath. The bottom two pieces of fabric provide support - like a vessel, or hand."

How much meaning and PR spin can one write into a new logo?!

Advance Cairns says that in a bid to corporatise the image and remove it from the "cliché realm of blues and greens and Palm Trees, typically cognisant of the region," the new colour scheme was selected to make the logo bold.

"Its strong masculine appeal is designed to instill an underlying tone of trust and confidence."

With board directors like Clive Skarott, chair of Cairns Ports, who flat out ignored the community over the historic Cairns Yacht Club last year, is high on the pecking order, you have to ask questions.

Does Advance Cairns, and all it represents instill trust and confidence in us, the people it serves? Let's hope this umbrella group does more than churn out a pretty new logo and makes the real gains we need as a region, and still respecting the change in the build-anything-anywhere policy of past local administrations.


Unknown said...

Such a complete waste of money.. could have been done for $199 at -who are Australia's largest online designers.. They did the National Young Liberal Party for $199 so why Advance Australia Square should have paid so much beats me..but then as we know jobs for the boys and bullshit explanations to go with it is all part of the coffee and a chat brigade who actually never achieve anything around here.... A logo is what it is because it is I say..

Cairns designer said...

the company who "designed" the logo is well known amongst Cairns designers to use stock images and/or clipart and then simply apply the relevent text.

The PR spin on the logo's meaning is just bullshit made up after the fact.

they then have the gall to enter such designs as their own in awards.

To be fair, they're not the only cowboy designers in town doing this. This town is full of them.

Unknown said...

Cairns designer you are correct..but I suspect the days of over priced designs are coming to an end..

Another Cairns designer said...

Hey Cairns Designer, can you give us a hint as to who designed this logo? What have they done to earn your disdain?

Curious Al said...

I'm keen to know where to throw my flaming bottles too :)

Kitchenslut said...

The 'verbiage' sounds like a Dilbert comic to me. I can understand the value of logos in specific circumstances where they relate to strong consumer brands ie Woolies etc.

But Advance Cairns? Whatever was spent is now obviously wasted money pissed up against the bureaucratic wall for no return?

Did I see a reference to sister cities for Cairns in todays Compost? Lets get rid of that waste too, irrelevant in todays connected global society.

Another Cairns designer said...

Hey Howard, nice plug mate. I hope you get a few leads from that :)

Unknown said...

The people that did the Logo were SmartArtz

As for Aussie logos I am just a shareholder..its way bigger than just me these days..with dedicated sites in Africa, USA, Canada, Ireland and UK (sorry for the gratuitous plug) I was just pointing out whats out there..and for how little.. In fact a lot of designers get Aussie to do their work and pass it off as their own with whopping mark ups.. me i just go fishing and sound off cos i am bored..

Fred said...

from Fred,

Guys get back to your day time TV. Advance Cairns paid for their own logo, and it did not compete with any of your Dole money, or benefits.

Bryan Law said...

The new logo represents 4 penises rampant, arranged in a daisy chain of simultaneous penetration – thus signifying the relationship between business and government in Cairns. The blue coloured penises represent the trade and labouring professions whose hard work and steady intelligence accumulates resources and tax revenues, while the two orange penises on top represent the promoters, boosters and spivs who work for TTNQ and Advance Cairns - who burn the money on consultant reports, trade missions, and long booze-ups at just about any venue in town.

Informally the logo is known as the “Four Pricks”, and its meaning was inadvertently revealed when the Cairns Post ran a photo of Cairns true masters (Jeremy Blockey, Russell Beer, and Rob Giaison) but couldn’t figure out how to get Kevin Byrne in the frame while Val was still, technically, Mayor. So we have this beautiful and prophetic photo spoiled by the presence of a non-prick.

2012 folks. That’s when the new logo will have its full impact. God bless the Four Pricks.

Fred said...

Hey Brian, Those early morning wakes & Bakes are making you hallucinate again. Get rid of the water pipe

Ad Man said...

Bryan, stop swimming in the Inlet and join a PR company!!

ha ha

Thornton On Spence said...

Mike I have a request. If you receive junk mail or spam you can put blockers to stop them. Can you develop a Bryan Law Blocker as he is really becoming a complete and offensive bore. He lives on assumptions and distorts the truth and facts to suit his ever boring rants. While I am not defending Advance Cairns there is no need to call the employees Pricks.
Bryan Law is a blue ribbon Oxygen Depleter.

Unknown said...

I must admit Bryan it isn't clever naming them as pricks..but it was rather funny and quite witty for you. Advance Cairns may well have paid for their logo.. what everyone is laughing at is the description from the spin company..not necessarily the design.. I guess that would become unfunny if everyone knew how much it had cost to design.. Whilst we are at it Mike it would be nice if people had the balls to actually front up on your blog and actually say who they are..There is too much hiding going on on the blog.. Anyone can throw rocks from behind the tree...How about some of the people in no particular order were prepared to stand up and stand behind their comments.

Graham down at Mondos said...

The logo is pretty. The inventing meaning or rationale is typical spin from a knobby group like this.

It's our money and well worth us all debating it. How and who did it, really is of little interest

Nicky J said...

Cairns designer are you suggesting that this particular logo might be a clip art/stock logo with text applied?

Despite the pending flame I support Advance Cairns' rebrand as I believe it's important an economic development agency maintains a strong logo and brand. An old or tired brand would suggest that as a business destination we too are old and tired, and I have a vested interest in attracting as much business into this area as possible.

I doubt the logo and branding package cost $40k, in fact I'd be surprised if any local graphic design agency could command those kinds of dollars from a rebrand, but the 'menu costs' of implementing a new logo can add up in updating the logo across all media.

Lead Cowboy said...

How close are you to achieving the mission on your website Cairns Designer, er Gav? That's right... I know who you are.

You think we fit the bill champo? I'm ready for you.

Keep going with the defamation, you're clearly not busy enough.

Smart Artz said...

Hey bloggers, thanks for the free publicity, our team at Smart Artz really appreciate it and would like to congratulate Advance Cairns on their new Corporate Image.
Now you are all thinking that we were paid for $40,000 for the logo design? WE WISH!

Nicky it does cost a lot to update a new logo and communicate a new brand across all media however Smart Artz has no involvement in this roll out for Advance Cairns.

We did however engage in the tender process for the Re Brand along with other local design firms and happily accepted the privilege to do it. We are proud of the design and result. We welcome anyone to come and have a chat to us tomorrow night at the Media Awards where we are a finalist in 2 logo designs and best corporate identity design (clip art free categories.)

It would be much nicer to talk to people face to face rather than behind blog names, after all we are only a local design company trying to improve local business owners with the design and branding education to better our local economy.

cairns designer said...

sorry "lead cowboy". my name isn't Gav

i know who you're referring to there too - and i don't think he ever will achieve that mission whilst there's still dickheads out there who think that because they can drive a mac then they can be a designer or art director.

i can't go out and buy set of tools and a hoist and set up shop as a mechanic can i?

You're right Nicky. there's no way anyone in Cairns can command those kind of dollars for a rebrand exercise. knock a zero off and i reckon you'll be closer to the mark.

yet another cairns designer said...

Sniff Sniff.... does this reek of slander and defamation to anyone else?...

Cairns Designer - they say in our industry that nothing kills a good idea like research... but in your case a little bit of research could go a long way.

Instead of defaming another small business like your own in Cairns, get your facts straight, before you start pointing the gun, otherwise you just end up looking like an ill-informed git, with a potential law suit on you lap.

Now a laughing Cowboy said...

...That's why you'll only ever be stuck in what ever depressive abismal rut you find yourself in Cairns Designer - Why can't I as a business person and an entrepreneur, lease a premise, buy some tools, install a hoist - employ some mechanics... you're right, I wouldn't call MYSELF a mechanic... I'd be a business owner, a capitalist - one who employs assets for sustainable gain. Sit behind your throne of Machood and enjoy your existance responding to inane blogs and sulking to the world about how you never had a puppy as a child. One day, you're going to have to accept that your misery is your own doing mate. Your leave pass to blame everyone else for your shortcoming is coming to an end. Like I said - happy to have the chat face to face... but somehow I doubt you'll take me up on that offer.

nocturnal congress said...

It's another aspect of the failure of corporative organisations. Too much money and effort spent on logos, Mission Statements, Values Statements, self-publicity and looking after their "executives".

Observer said...

I don't see how Cairns Designer has defamed anyone - they haven't once specifically mentioned any individual or agency. All these defamation threats sound pretty hollow to me.

Nicky J said...

To add another angle, I am overjoyed that Advance Cairns fairly tendered the work and chose to use a local company for the rebrand.

I have been a strong critic of other similar organisations not engaging local firms, so I commend Advance Cairns on choosing Smart Artz.

Anyone else heading to the media awards tomorrow night? I would also love to meet up with anyone here. We're on table 4 if you want to come over and share a glass of wine with us. The more, the merrier.

Dutchie said...

I don't care who designed it. It's boring. They have a nice rave on their web site about how the brain recognises images, well then why design something so forgettable! Colours are also boring. For an organisation that is about progress (or are they?), I think it is surprising that they have chosen such a conservative logo.