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Napier City Council unveils exciting new branding

Napier City Council's logo, launched September 2016. Marine Parade’s iconic Norfolk pines and gently lapping waves make up Napier City Council’s new logo, which was unveiled to staff and stakeholders on Friday, 9 September.

Chief Executive Wayne Jack presented the new brand direction, including the colour palette, fonts and planned logo usage. Phase one of a multi-staged roll-out begins immediately.

“We’re nearing the end of a Council-wide strategic realignment, which has seen us begin to take steps in an exciting new direction that better serves our customers and our community.  So it’s the ideal time to begin rolling out a new logo and brand identity that mirrors that fresh approach and reflects our city. Our previous logo has served its purpose very well, but it’s time for something different. I’m very pleased with how the new brand has developed and I think Napier residents will quickly come to enjoy seeing it around the city,” Mr Jack says.

Local designers were briefed in February and invited to develop the outline of a new brand for the city, and as a result of that process, George Williams of Blackdog Design Ltd was selected to work with Council on further progressing the look and feel of his idea. Mr Williams says he was honoured to have been chosen for the job.

“I am hugely proud to have been a part of helping create this revitalised brand for Napier and my hope is that it is embraced and built upon for the future.”

It was a complex brief for Mr Williams, who was tasked with maintaining some of the city’s Art Deco aspects in his design, while taking the overarching theme in a new direction. He has done so, says Council Marketing Manager Rebecca Ainsworth, with excellence.

“We enjoyed hearing the story behind George’s nugget of an idea and bringing it to life with him. The geography of our stunning city has played a huge role in our new branding, but we were all delighted to see Art Deco referenced so beautifully in the typography. We feel his design takes Napier City Council to new territory, while staying true to what the city is best known for.”

Lucy Dobbs, who worked with Council on its brand direction and delivery framework, agrees.

“The events of the early part of Napier's history have shaped the city we know today, creating a unique urban environment. But the new logo and branding is more focused on what Napier is right now - a vibrant, coastal, multi-cultural city that has taken the creativity of the past to its heart and channelled it into all sorts of fantastic culinary, viticultural, artistic, and sporting ventures.”

Design agency Band helped to implement the hundreds of design protoypes required including signage, stationery, ratepayer communications, vehicles, uniforms, website design, communications templates and so forth.

“We are stoked to be a part of the team which worked on this,” says Tom Allan of Band.

“Picking up on the curves and flow of the new brand’s core elements - the tree and the sea - we created a secondary graphic palette which gives the Council’s livery a sense of movement and vibrancy. We think this brand system delivers a strong and modern identity across multiple Council divisions.”    

The new branding – and its staged roll-out - will be managed by the Council Communications and Marketing team. The first wave includes changes to the Council's website, Informing Napier notices and human resources materials.

Where it is feasible to do so, existing stocks of stationery, library cards and other consumables will be exhausted before new stock, with the updated branding in place, is ordered. While that will result in a period of months where both logos may be visible, the staged approach will help to keep costs down, says Mrs Ainsworth.

“It’s a mammoth task for an organisation of this size to go through a major rebranding project. At every stage of this project we’ve had cost at the forefront of our minds and we hope Napier’s residents understand and bear with us while we make these huge changes.”

Meanwhile, Napier NOW will still have a place in Council’s arsenal of marketing materials, but will be focused more strongly on interactivity - providing a platform to engage residents in discussion about specific events and projects.

12 May 2017

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