Commonly an overused term, the word “brand” means many things to few people. In this instance, I am referring to brand as personality, trademark—something that instantly identifies a place or a thing by its own unique characteristics, both visually and emotionally. The word on its own is a well-suited descriptor. Strong cities also share these characteristics. I was in one such city recently.

Rich with history and identifiable culture, a walk through the streets gives an immediate impression of its beginnings, struggles and commitment to restoration and relevancy. From its well-traveled, cobblestone corridors and alleyways, to the heavy, familiar scent that abounds in the dead of summer, this city has cultivated and sustained a personality all its own. Not through forced articulation or overused metaphor, but in the way that it has embraced the personality of its people. And how it’s people have, in turn, embraced the city and what it has to offer. Southern charm with a dash of irreverence and humor; a place that feels lived in. Artifacts abound and an overlap ensues, blurring the lines between people and place; it’s hard to tell which came first. Great cities stand on the shoulders of their patrons.

Oftentimes, the strongest cities don’t need a graphic identity or even the mention of a name.  It is this careful process of gathering experiences, building upon culture and eclectically distributing information that makes a place true to its people. Look at the images below. Without mention of name or locale, do you know this city’s brand?

2 Responses to “CITIES AS BRAND”
  1. Younique says:

    Doesn’t look like Chicago or Minneapolis. I’d guess somewhere in the South. Is that the French Quarter? Regardless, nicely done article.

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