What A Council Logo Says, Part 6 – Edinburgh

Published on 29 November 2008 in , , , ,

What does your council’s logo say about your area? I was pondering this very question whilst walking down the street and looking at the street signs near home – their Merton Council logo blazing quietly in the corner, radiating out its waterwheel goodness. The entire of Merton is represented by a waterwheel for example. Why?

And so, with that on my mind, I headed on a journey of discovery, looking at places where I’d lived and visited, asking what each council logo said about the area it serves.

In part 6, it’s off to Scotland for the last stop – the wonderful city of Edinburgh.

City of Edinburgh Council

When I was casting around for places to cover, I wanted somewhere with a connection to me – somehow. Unfortunately family roots didn’t help very much to vary the old horizons – my parents, Catherine’s parents and my sister all live within a radius of a few miles in Tameside, Greater Manchester. And whilst I’ve moved around the country and lived in a few different places, I haven’t actually lived in that many.

However there is one family connection that allows us to break out of the normal routine – Catherine’s brother David, and his other half, Michelle, live in Edinburgh. And as such, we’ve been up there a few times.

I love Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful city that, despite being large, often has a feel of a small town. The way its main shopping street is only one sided – the other being gardens and museums – gives it a wonderful charm.

There’s lots of great pubs, landmarks, and a bloke playing the bagpipes near the train station.

I mean, if the BBC’s “Out of London” move meant that someone came up to me and said “Look, Andrew, your job is moving to Edinburgh”, I’d be running around yelping with excitement. Sorry Salford, but you just don’t have the same impact. (I’m actually beginning to wish I’d covered Salford City Council in this series, because frankly its logo is even worse than the Greater London Authority’s!)

Edinburgh is a city of landmarks. The castle, the Mound, Arthur’s Seat, the Scott Monument, the Royal Mile and the almost folly like National Monument.

So with all this wonderful heritage, this wonderful landscape, this beautiful city, can someone please tell me why the city council chose this to represent it…

City of Edinburgh Council Logo

Sorry but I don’t get it. There’s so much there to play with, either with a true representation, some sort of Thames TV-esque skyline composite, or a stylised view.

Instead we get given a textual representation of the city name, with an “old fashioned” font, producing a logo alludes to the fact that the city has a grand and noble heritage, without actually showing it.

Presumably that was supposed to be the point – a logo that says “look, we may be old but we’re pretty modern too”, but the whole thing looks like a wasted opportunity. It’s a logo that could be anywhere, in any country. As a logo it’s perfectly functional, potentially interesting, but ultimately doesn’t say much – well anything – about the city it is being used by. A modern, stylised picture of one of the city’s landmarks could have done so much more – given a true logo with a real connection to the city rather than a logo that says and does nothing. And that’s a shame.

Tomorrow, in the final part of the series, it’s time to wrap things up with a comparison of all the council logos covered in this short series.

1 Comment

  • Sparkie says:

    Re: Edinburgh logo…
    “some sort of Thames TV-esque skyline composite”
    RE: Salfords logo, they more than likely paid a lot of money to someone (Hemisphere design in Manchester I belive) tweaked a font called FF DIN and write “Salford City Council” on a 100% Magenta block.
    I’d do that for free if the price was right…..