“One for all” – Canton of St.Gallen adjusts location marketing – Design Diary

In the canton of St.Gallen, location marketing is currently being adjusted. With the help of a new brand image “Canton St.Gallen – one for all”, the canton’s image and external communication should be sharpened. The design concept including application examples is presented exclusively in dt.

Not only brands and companies are in competition with each other, cities, regions, states and countries are also in creative competition with each other when it comes to attracting investors, specialists or tourists. In addition, location marketing is in many cases aimed at managing the perception of one’s own population in such a way that they get the most positive possible image of the respective entity.

With a new brand logo based on a multi-colored design concept, the canton of St.Gallen wants to increase its attractiveness or specifically change the perception of the fifth largest canton in Switzerland as part of an image campaign. In contrast to “St. Gallen can do it”, which was supposed to show strengths and potential, the communication is now directed in a different direction: diversity and multifacetedness.

Excerpt from the press release

Rural and urban, young to old, from the Rhine Valley to Lake Zurich, from Toggenburg to Lake Constance, with and without a Swiss passport, regardless of gender, skin color and denomination, for people with disabilities or impairments: society in the canton of St.Gallen is a colorful mix. This diversity of the canton forms the core of the new brand “Canton St.Gallen – one for all”. From today, the canton of St.Gallen uses it as an addition to the coat of arms.

Brand “Canton St.Gallen – one for all” – logos, source: Canton St.Gallen

Diversity and heterogeneity have always characterized the canton of St.Gallen, according to the State Chancellery at the official presentation. The government sees its task as “strengthening the canton’s own diversity and setting accents”. Using the new brand image, the aim is to visually illustrate this diversity within culture, business and society. The motto is derived from the Latin inscription “Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno” (“One for all, all for one”) on the dome of the Federal Palace (Bern).

Graphically, the new stamp with the banner is based on the canton’s coat of arms. In the coat of arms, ribbons hold eight staves together (heraldic symbolism: white bundle of staves with ax on a green background). In a figurative sense, the ties stand for social cohesion. This symbolism is reinterpreted in the new brand. The bunheiten in the appearance of the label also alludes to a stanza in the St. Gallerlied, where the canton is described with the words “bont gschägget isch sis Chleid”.

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Brand “Canton of St.Gallen – one for all” – application example for a greeting card, source: Canton of St.Gallen

The design concept linked to the brand provides the greatest possible flexibility, as the State Chancellery’s press office stated on request to dt: “The concrete use of the new brand offers users – within the framework of the defined specifications – a maximum of design possibilities. Depending on the occasion, target group or sender is the choice of pattern, image and color, the location of the logo, the space and the wording (heading) free”.

According to the State Chancellery, they worked together with artists from the canton to implement the new brand. The basic idea came from the St.Gallen lamp poet Julia Kubik. The artists Beni Bischof, Basil Kehl, the writer Gülsha Adilji and the band DACHS were responsible for further design proposals. For the conceptual and visual implementation, the State Chancellery worked together with the St.Gallen agency Absolut.

The “Canton of St.Gallen – one for all” brand is used in public relations, especially at events and appearances in the canton and on social media, sometimes in addition to the regular corporate design of the State Chancellery. The brand replaces the old “St.Gallen can do it” brand.

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According to the Swiss media, the new brand image is perceived by the population as confusing, and the majority rejects it, according to a survey by the news portal “20min”. As always, the following discussion will be interesting to see if the votes of the mostly experienced dt readers go in the same direction, or if the multicolored design concept is evaluated differently, more positively.

Swiss municipalities and cantons are generally known to follow a long tradition in typography and graphic design to appear functional/rational, factual and clear within the framework of their visual appearance. Many performances are deliberately simple, sometimes minimalist, see the canton of Fribourg, the canton of Zurich, Lucerne, Zug and others.

The design for the brand “Canton of St.Gallen – one for all” is, on the other hand, varied, and the logo is playful. An unusual concept by Swiss standards. The unusual attracts attention and attracts more attention. However, attention is only useful if the communication of the brand is also perceived as positive.

Due to the following investigation, I will refrain from making a further assessment at this time.

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