Professional fouls

The competitive instincts of design consultancies lead Adrian Shaughnessy to doubt if ethical codes of practice can ever really work in our profession

When it comes to civic branding, New York knocks London into a cocked hat.

The debate about the new 2012 identity has distracted us from an important issue. Great cities are about substance and style in equal measure, not just the latter. The 2012 logo is certainly different, but is it just upbeat packaging on an average product?

New York lives and breathes its identity throughout the whole consumer experience, not just through Milton Glaser’s iconic logo. In New York, the walk is as important as the talk.

Lunch in Métrazur in New York’s Grand Central Station is a world away from the Duke of York pub in London’s King’s Cross. And not just in terms of the aperitifs on offer.

Twenty-five years after Metro-North began the refurbishment of this iconic landmark, it’s a breathtaking example of civic pride in action. Not only is the architecture immaculate, but the whole environment is professional and polished. New Yorkers are, quite rightly, proud. And it shows.

A farmers’ market selling to the homebound commuter is a great idea, and Grand Central Market works brilliantly. To imagine the same type of retail offer at any of London’s mainline termini requires a massive leap of faith.

For the sake of the Olympics, let’s hope London can make that jump within the next five years.





Adrian Shaughnessy

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