Navyblue designs identity for South African province

Brand communications group Navyblue has designed the identity of Gauteng province, South Africa, in a place-branding exercise director Ron Cregan says is one of the biggest projects the group has done.

Appointed by the Gauteng province government in September, Navyblue was offered a three-year contract in anticipation of the South Africa Football World Cup in 2010.

The consultancy won after a three-stage competition comprising tender, creative strategic pitch and face-to-face interview of shortlisted parties.

Navyblue set up a company for the Gauteng job – Alliance Communications – which also comprises South African companies O’Brian, an all-black ad agency, and Nolinhle, an all-female-owned media agency, both of which operate a positive discrimination policy.

In the £250 000 contract Navyblue was initially briefed to ‘build a better-understood brand’ and instructed to ‘create, educate and deploy the Gauteng brand’, says Cregan. He expects the fee to grow.

The brief was interpreted through a logo unveiled yesterday at the Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg. It depicts a G-shaped fractal of spots in six colours, representing the six districts of the region. Cregan says, ‘It’s a naturally occurring spiral within the culture of the region.’ The shape is found on Gauteng textiles and in its village architecture.

The identity, which carries the strapline ‘It starts here’, accompanies a strategy that aims to unify six disparate municipalities: arts, culture, sport, trade, culture and political.

The identity and guidelines come ahead of the province playing host to Miss World 2008, matches in the 2009 British and Irish Lions rugby tour, the A1 Grand Prix 2008-09 season and matches in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

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