There’s some fascinating stuff over at How Do regarding the conception of the new logo, which has been given a rather mixed reception.
Since my media nodes, and time, are naturally limited I failed to get any sort of inside scoop, but How Do reports a number of interesting factoids, including:
• Finch was originally to be awarded the pitch without it being put out to tender, resulting in some understandable consternation from other agencies in the region
• A second pitching stage saw three agencies bidding for the roll-out of the branding and launch, using the logo already designed by Finch
• An original strapline reading ‘Alive with Imagination’ was removed when it met with ‘a pretty poor reception from everyone unfortunate enough to have seen it’.
• A number of companies competed for various components of the brief, which seems bafflingly complicated.
• Phil Redmond has had nothing to do with the branding. He is apparently in a huff after disagreeing with the direction of the branding.
I think I’ve got all of that right, the pitching process seems rather labyrinthine to me. From what I can work out the branding is handled by Uniform and the website by Ripple Effect.
Additionally, the whole brief cost around £100K according to How Do, which was less than the initial £150K bandied around.
The site also indicates the thinking behind the rebrand, from a council document in late 2008:
A council report released last week detailed the motivation behind the re-brand, noting how successful rival cities were at positioning themselves on one quality or brand value (eg “Paris is romance, Milan is style”).
This leaves me to wonder what the soundbite from this rebrand actually is. Are we still going with Liverpool – Third Best?
I’m happy to start off the debate about what it should be here and now. Feel free to join in.
Liverpool – Better Than Manchester
Liverpool – Ey Mate!
Liverpool – Now With Massive New Shopping Centre
Liverpool – Home of Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall
Rather bizarrely there’s a channel on Sky (Channel 176) that’s seemingly devoted to Liverpool’s Capital of Culture in 2008.
I’d recommend it but it seems to consist solely of people who are on the outskirts of the consciousness of even noted media commentators such as myself – nevermind the average Jimmy in the street – simply talking about the city with little obvious structure or real point to proceedings.
If you’re listlessly flicking channels, and you’ve shelled out to join the legions of dead-eyed souls keeping Rupert Murdoch in Cayman Islands islands and young hot Asian babes, then have a look. I challenge you to watch for more than five minutes.
There’s also been the varying takes of Les Dennis and Alexei Sayle on the city recently, both of which were entertaining enough but a little unfulfilling. Dennis’ effort particularly rather had the feeling of a tourist board film, so desperate was he to put over his city, while Alexei (who is nevertheless fantastic) struggled to make his doc about the city rather than himself.
It’s quite incredible to contemplate the sheer weight of talent and fantastic programming that’s come out Liverpool over the years, and it’s worth listing some of the work that’s hailed from the city.
Bread, Brookside, Boys From the Blackstuff, GBH, Hillsborough, Lucky, One Summer. Willy Russell, Jimmy McGovern, Alan Bleasdale. You really do forget how much TV there is. Surely there’s no other one city that makes its geography and people the stars of so many shows.
It’s worth remembering too that Liverpool is currently served by Hollyoaks – one of the worst programmes in the history of television. A sad state of affairs, and one that may prompt you to ponder where the next crop of talent will come from.
There’s loads of cracking historical footage of the city too, including an early documentary on the city’s streets, Liverpool’s footy and music obsessions, the Toxteth riots, Hatton and Militant and dockers disputes.
Hilariously a typically 60’s BBC man turns up at the Kop at one point and is moved to describe the exotic experience as: ‘as rich and mystifying a culture as any south-sea island’.
But watching Liverpool on the Box simply makes you want to go and watch Boys From the Blackstuff, GBH and all the rest again. Even Bread which, along with all of Carla Lane’s other work, was terrible has a certain place in my nostalgic heart.
If the documentary hints at making a point it’s that Liverpool’s bursts of creativity seem to be inspired by hardship, of which the city has famously had its fair share. Phil Redmond actually vocalises this notion, pointing out that the 60’s and 80’s were the two great bursts in Liverpool creativity and expecting the next one.
It’s unfortunate that Redmond’s recent hits include the aforementioned Hollyoaks and presiding over the 2008 Capital of Culture celebrations featuring the Wombats, Ringo Starr and Dave Stewart, but the sheer depth and breadth of talent the city’s produced makes you hopeful 2008 will be remembered for more than that.
In the meantime, go and watch Boys again, and make sure you catch Liverpool on the Box before it vanishes into the ether.