City of Melbourne Logo

The city of Melbourne, Australia revealed their new brand identity yesterday. The logo was developed by Landor’s Aussie branch. Preliminary research for the logo came in at about $74,000 and the design itself cost $120,000. Those who have rebranded destinations know they should have paid twice that given the politics of the work. ~ Source

Melbourne New Logo

Melbourne’s website quotes CEO Dr Kathy Alexander in saying the City will benefit from the logo in the following ways:

* Consolidation of multiple logos into a single, strong, cutting-edge design
* Better identification of services City of Melbourne is delivering
* Greater brand impact and flexibility
* More cost and time-effective in-house design and brand management

Melbourne Logo In Use

Above you can see the identity system in use.

Below you can experience the new identity via video.

Your thoughts?

Image Sources: The Age + City Council

44 Comments For This Post

  1. Rahul Says:

    The logo seems great. But the price tag, $240,000 for a Logo Makeover, wow that’s a huge amount.

  2. Aashish Solanki Says:

    IMHO the logo isn’t great at all. To make it worse they have paid a whopping amount for it! Its just good.

    The first thing a city logo should have is ability to be reproduced on different mediums. With the 3D’ness of it I recon how much of it is easily reproducible at places like streets / materials / sign boards etc.

    Second where is the wow-ness? Would you not want some element of cityness to it? I don’t whats the reasoning or research behind this logo but the outcome is a drab 3D chiseled diamond.

    I am sure even Jacob could have done a brilliant job if given an opportunity. Very disappointed!

    Alas. Art is art :)

  3. dainen Says:

    I find it visually appealing and identifiable mainly because there seems to be a lot of “shatter” design around Melbourne – especially Federation Square. Can’t say much about the price but i think the identity video was executed well. It does seem a little blocky but i guess if it were slimmer, the “shatter” won’t be that visible. All in all, it’s good =)

  4. Luis Says:

    I must say that the logo is very well done, as seen from the examples it proves to be very flexible and it is elegant and simple. I really like the fact that the colors can be changed in order to represent the different entities within the city and thus consolidate the different logos. It think it is a job well done.

  5. Billie Says:

    I can get past the ‘M’, but the font used for ‘City of Melbourne’ is a real let-down.
    In their defence, it must have been a very tough client to please though…

    As for the price tag, that’s ridiculous!! Apparently logo design is where it’s at haha!

  6. Adrián Fuentes Says:

    I’m not very familiar with Melbourne, but as a foreigner, I’ve always thought of the city as a modern, first world an edgy city. I don’t know how much of that is actually true, but it may be because of the look and feel of the Opera House (I know it is in Sidney, but I may be unconsciously doing that relation :p).

    So, that being said, I think the logo resembles pretty much the same subjective idea that I have about Melbourne. I think the use of that broad colour palette is very well justified if the main goal was to have a logo that looked that AWESOME in animation (loved the video). Besides, I think it is different from all the cities logos I have seen and that add value to the whole branding project. Btw, type goes just right with the whole concept.

  7. Jacob Cass Says:

    Rahul, Aashish, Billie,
    In comparison to other logos I suppose it is quite cheap. London 2012 logo = $800,000. Pepsi = $1 Million. Posten = $55 Million though I do understand where you are coming from.

    Do logos need to have wowness? In my opinion, no – a logo is for identification. Also with the technology today, I think the logo will be able to be reproduced on nearly all materials one way or another and still be identifiable.

    And I am sure Landor has fulfilled their goals. Landor is a studio I do look up to.

    I also thought of Federation Square, I wonder how much of an influence that had on the design?

    Luis, Adrián Fuentes.
    Thank you for your feedback, good to hear other’s opinions.

  8. Callum Chapman Says:

    Damn, I wish I had a $240,000 project on my hands ;)

  9. RCKY Says:

    Obviously money doesnt matter … dont know how to do researches for 74k … think they engadged indiana jones and columbo at the same time ;). When i first saw the logo i wasn’t really shure what to think about, but watching video makes it quite interesting, doesnt it?

  10. Jamal Ahmad Says:

    I assume it wasn’t just the logo for 240.000, but also other promotional material i.e. posters, video etc.

  11. Ken Peters Says:

    I find this logo very engaging. It immediately communicates “water”, “sun”, “trees (particularly Palm trees)” and “sand”. I’ve never been to Melbourne, but I’m assuming that those things are among it’s positive qualities.

    The geometry within the “M” icon also wonderfully conveys reflection, or the shimmer and play of light across water and perhaps glass. This provides the sense that Melbourne is both a metropolitan center of art and architecture as well as a resort destination for outdoor enthusiasts. What some above have described as the “shatter” look actually communicates to me “multifaceted”, which is a very powerful connotation for a city and it’s logo to convey.

    I wonder how accurate the dollar figures quoted actually are. No doubt some of that money was spent on additional branding, such as the video above as well as web and printed collateral.

    Things fall apart a bit at the text. It seems a bit “stuck on” and appears more as an afterthought. It’s like they spent all their time on the “M” and then somebody realized they needed the words, too. The all-caps formation is difficult to read and the proportion of the text to the icon is a little off balance to my eye. However, the font does feel contemporary and clean, which also are two good adjectives to have associated with your city.

    All in all, I think this is an exceptional identity.

  12. Erik T. Wright Says:

    Keep it simple, stupid.

  13. Mark Ballantyne Says:

    …but is the logo a rip-off?… – see Merchantlogix logo (created in 2004).


  14. Drew Evans Says:

    The plain blue, yellow and purple versions are ok on there own but i think they have joined them together to represent the multi cultural aspect, and as Ken Peters said, the multifaceted nature of Melbourne. If one colour were to represent one aspect of Melbourne then it probably why the main logo is greens, aquas, yellows and blues. Short of copying what Ken has said, i think it’s transparent nature also helps represent Melbourne… but at the end of the day the average tourist/consumer wouldn’t be looking at the logo under that light.

    They would probably think ‘Melbourne, cool logo – trendy’ which Melbourne is, so on that alone it’s probably successful or going to be successful.

    This is where i get confused.

    This is the old logo:

    So how does this one fit?

    This logo has been described as “…We’re kind of saying it’s a bit like an onion—each time you peel back a layer there’s a better bit underneath”. I think the inference here is that Melbourne is multi-dimensional, not ‘once you peel back the dull, dry outer suburbs you reach the tasty, more juicier CBD”

    I think the answer to the new logo is said best by analyzing the old one – multidimensional…

    As for the other parts of the logo that haven’t been explained, the Melbourne future plan states :

    ‘It envisages Melbourne to be a bold, inspirational and sustainable global city and one of the top ten most liveable and sustainable cities in the world.

    Eight key goals have been set to achieve this vision:

    1. A city for people
    2. A prosperous city
    3. An eco-city
    4. A knowledge city
    5. A creative city
    6. A connected city
    7. Lead by example
    8. Manage our resources well’

    etc etc. It’s easy to judge it from the outside but they probably had 100+ people this had to be approved by so i am guessing it met the brief.

  15. Drew Evans Says:

    just another point – i quite like the video, apart from the images on the shards…reminds me of spiderman and it doesn’t add to the promo in any way.

  16. Raja Sandhu Says:

    Hi There -

    Caught this link off my stats page. The logo has generated a buzz around the design community as well as other pockets of the net and most obviously in Melbourne. Can’t really comment on the price as I don’t know what the deliverables were nor can I reflect on if this logo identifies with the essence of the city having never been there myself.

    However, just wanted to post an interesting comparison which has caused a little buzz of it’s own. For the record I have not made any statements, merely gauging the thoughts of others. The comparison has lead to a couple of interviews with national papers in Australia.

    I hope you don’t mind me posting the link, Jacob. Again, the comparison is more out of interest and not to take an implicit stance.

    Thank you,

    - Raja Sandhu

  17. Jacob Cass Says:

    Pretty far off regarding “sun” in Melbourne (haha) however I do get the water / glass approach. If you take a look at Federation Square, you may see some likeness too.

    The $240,000 was quoted from a Newspaper and they do like to drum things up, but yes it would be interesting to see the break down. I also agree somewhat about the text.

    Thanks for your comments Ken.

    Please see my comment to Ken. Also, in regards to the “average tourist/consumer wouldn’t be looking at the logo under that light.” Is this really a problem or even necessary? I am sure that if you asked the average consumer about any logo, they would not “get it right” however I do get where you are coming from.

    In regards to the brand Melbourne logo (as you linked) I am not sure of that logo and how it differs from “The City of Melbourne” – they seem like the same thing don’t they?

    Also thanks for the quote from the future plan of Melbourne.

    All in all, I am a fan of the identity and from my few short visits in Melbourne, it does sum the city up quite well.

  18. Jacob Cass Says:

    No problem re the link, when Mark posted the link to your site, at first I didn’t see the similarity however after seeing the overlay of the picture, it is quite similar I suppose.

    There are so many similar logos out there… but I just can’t see Landor Associates copying a logo?

    I also just realised that this logo was on Brand New – I am quite behind in my feeds so didn’t realise that this had already been posted. I came across this rebrand via FuelYourBranding and TheAge.

  19. Jacob Cass Says:


    Just realised how the two logos differ as quoted on BrandNew by Jorge.

    “I think people are forgetting that this is a Council brand/mark and not a destination brand.
    The Melbourne destination branding to identify/promote the city is designed by Cato Partners.”

  20. Drew Evans Says:

    If that’s the case Jacob, wouldn’t you think you would swap the logos around…

    But one for council, one for tourism makes perfect sense – but they both say the same thing just in different ways. But i think this one (diamond) says more.

  21. Anthony Proulx Says:

    Wow that’s a very expensive logo! I wonder what the most expensive logo was ever??

  22. Mark Ballantyne Says:

    ^ An expensive logo is one which a. doesn’t *get* you sales and b. one which *costs* you sales… ;-)

  23. Jacob Cass Says:

    No need to swap them around Drew, why would this be needed? I was just clarifying what the difference between the city / tourism logos are.

    Mark answered that question well but the most expensive logo (+ implementation) I know is Posten – $55 Million as quoted here.

  24. Drew Evans Says:

    Jacob, what I meant was in terms of swapping them around, is that I (personal opinion) think this logo would be better suited for tourism (IF, you had to choose).

    How often do you come across a trendy logo for a council? Or maybe i’m being bias because it’s more intriguing – hence, would it therefore be more appealing to tourists and serve that function better? I wasn’t being literal by any means though.

    All you have to do is compare it to brisbane council’s logo to understand which city i’d prefer to live in.. – no wonder people retire in the sunshine state…

  25. Ben Says:

    Very nice. Seems to borrow from Keane’s latest album art (Perfect Symmetry).

  26. Alessandro Mingione Says:

    I love this logo.
    There are so many shapes and colours that you can guess so many interpretations… but everything reflects the idea i have of a modern city (even the shape of the M reminds me of skyscrapers).
    I also like the typeface chosen for the logo but don’t like as much the lowercase one.

    One of the many reasons i like this logo is because the branding flexibility it gives, and how the edgy shapes in the logo can be used outside it for general branding purposes (see the examples).

    By the way, i’d say that such a sum of money is the “standard” for cities/big brands :) nothing to be scared about.

  27. Toko Says:

    Wow, back to the 80’ssssssssssssssssssss

  28. Jason Nockels Says:

    I would have done it for half the price

  29. Matty Says:

    I like the way the M is made up of fragments. I have to agree that that is a huge amount of money but there was probably more involved than just the logo and I would imagine that there would have been a large number of changes made before the final design was reached. I am not so keen on the typography but I will put my hand up and say that I do really like what they have done with the M. Not all the colour options work so well. I do like the one made of blue tones only the best.

  30. Nick Says:

    I think it is ugly as sin.

    Bloated, clunky, dated and harshly angular. I don’t see how it fits with the city of Melbourne at all, being such a fast moving, high tech place – this seems terribly out of sync. And it definately doesn’t reflect any of the culture or atmosphere you can find in Melbourne.

    I’m just glad I live in Brisbane so I don’t have to look at it.

  31. Lou Says:

    I must say I feel a ”deja vu” when I look at the Melbourne logo and what happened in my home town with the design of the logo and the price. Here is a link so you can make your own opinion:

    And I think the world of 3D had a two big influence on this logo.


  32. jj Says:

    I think it’s very good.
    Take a look at “ROC 100 years logo”
    really sad.. :(

  33. Locky Says:

    They spent a fraction of pepsi’s remake, and did a 100% better job, FOR MELBOURNE, a capital city in Australia. Hardly a international brand in comparison to pepsi.

  34. Moonstonestreet Says:

    Back in April of 2006, I designed the Moonstonestreet Designs logo for my portfolio. It was inspired by the walls of Tadao Ando’s architecture. The “M” logo can also be a cantilevered beam.

    The year’s 2010 and I absolutely didn’t expect myself to be scourging my files of 2006. But I did. Because just this lunch, I stumbled upon the logo design of the City of Melbourne at the The Cool Hunter’s website.

    I knew it’s a perfect match the first time I saw it. But just to be sure, I edited it in Photoshop and put my own M logo on top. It is near-perfect identical.

    I’m not from Landor or something. But I now believe that some people could think of the same, exact, precise shapes at different times for the same purposes.

  35. Eagle Imagery Says:

    You’re not the only one…

  36. Moonstonestreet Says:

    Here’s the link to my flickr:

  37. Eagle Imagery Says:

    Well, if you think there’s been some infringement, there’s little point gassing about it here. For what it’s worth, you’re not the only designer to have had this ’shock’.

  38. Mete Says:

    The following is a manifesto I wrote when the new logo was launched. Hope it presents some food for thought.

    COMRADES OF MELBOURNE, be proud that our lane ways are as charming as our theatres. We live in a city where around every corner a new treat triggers wonder and imagination in a uniquely cool, understated way. Over the past century, Melbourne has established itself as the creative hub of Australia.
    There is, however, a problem. Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has commissioned an American design company ‘Landor Associates’ to redesign the symbol that represents us all. The problem is threefold:

    1. The new symbol does not represent us or our city,

    2. It has been created by someone who has not connected with Melbourne, but researched it from a distance and

    3. It discredits the creativity upon which Melbourne prides itself.
    A symbol is not just a picture; its defining feature is the emotional or aesthetic connection to what it represents. Peter Singline, Principal of marketing company ‘Brand DNA’, reminds us it is“the meaning we attribute to [the symbol] that determines the esteem in which we hold the brand” (Singline 2009). A shining example of this is the re branding of ‘Coca Cola’, also by Landor. The original logo was designed by Frank Robinson in 1887, and Landor remained faithful, merely tweaking it to suit a modern market. They understood that the Coca Cola symbol was not just an attractive image but one that was linked with such cherished moments as dinner with friends and family or having a coke with your Whopper meal at Hungry Jack’s on your first date.
    This is what Doyle does not understand: The Melbourne logo can be impeccably researched and elegantly designed, but without proper knowledge of what it represents, it is simply a hollow image.

    This is by no means Landor’s fault. If I were thrown $240,000 to design a logo, I would definitely do it, regardless of my relationship with the institution. Like any good design firm, they researched the city as much as they could, but, as with any city, one cannot know Melbourne unless one lives it.

    Catriona Elder, author of ‘Being Australian’ (2007, 29) points out that cities today are so large that noone could ever meet every other citizen, however, through common education, popular culture, political rhetoric, history, images and stories, a network of shared values is created between all of us. For instance, the general Melbourne attitude toward Connex is one of exasperation, this much can be researched. However, unless you were from Melbourne, you would not chortle at mention of the Frankston line or understand that ‘Spencer Street Station’ sounds much more culturally accurate than ‘Southern Cross’.

    This is a seemingly insignificant part of what defines Melbourne, yet it is something that we share as citizens. Landor, indeed, any foreign design agency, could never connect with these icons as we do because they are not a part of us, and their new logo has no true connection with us.

    Judith Buckrich, in her book ‘Collins’ (2005, 5), recounts the observations of English journalist George Sala during his visit to Melbourne in 1885. Sala described Melbourne as a city “blessed with extraordinary wealth and good fortune”, Its people “impelled by progressive ideas”. It is obvious, even to a visitor, that Melbourne is an innovative and creative city. Why then does our own mayor overlook 1500 Melbourne design firms and thousands of local design students when deciding to re brand our city? Doyle stated that the new design would be synonymous with the “modern, vibrant, cool city” (Herald Sun 2009) Melbourne is today, but somehow finds the “modern, vibrant, cool” people within it incapable of creating a new, unique image.

    Cato Partners, founded by Ken Cato is a Melbourne based design firm responsible for the iconic images of Pura milk, Network Seven, Commonwealth Bank, Medibank Private, Coles and countless others. One particularly interesting body of work is their Melbourne tourism logo. Cato’s web site explains that “Melbourne is like a good book, where a level of depth and complexity is experienced through diverse layers”. This illustrates absolute understanding and engagement with the city of Melbourne. We are made up of so many layers; cultural, architectural and historical. Cato Partners are one example of an innovative group of people, from Melbourne, who were able to coherently communicate the charm and wonder for which our city is renowned.
    So Melbourne, how do we overcome the false labelling of our city? I have seen petitions signed and rejected in the case of London’s logo for the 2012 Olympic games, to have their mayor, accept, say that it was not the end of the world, and that he was fine with it. I have also seen Facebook groups, these are great for uniting people with a common opinion but does not necessarily demand action.

    I propose the following:

    1. Start a web site called, where designers can upload alternative Melbourne logos and citizens can vote.

    2. Increase public knowledge of the website via e-mail, posters, flyers and postcards, printed by sponsors to the cause

    3. Encourage well recognized Melbourne designers, personalities and media to support the cause, hence increasing interest.

    4. The winning design as voted by the people of Melbourne will be fixed next to the new Melbourne logo wherever it is seen. It is important that the winning design does not cover Landor’s work as the issue is with Doyle, not Landor.

    5. Persistently spread the logo as far and wide as possible, targeting the Lord Mayor’s office in particular, until the logo is changed.

    Historically, this method of the majority rising above the leaders has worked, much like those who brought about the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Although this is on a much smaller scale, the principle is the same. As said by V, the anti hero charismatically played by Hugo Weaving in the 2005 thriller V for Vendetta, “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people”. We live in a rational and democratic country where opinions can be heard and responded to if presented well.

  39. Eagle Imagery Says:

    …and design by committee never works, much less a committee of ‘non-experts’ – so that’s just shot your campain clean out the water hasn’t it?

    Don’t take it so seriously, Comrade!!!

  40. Eitan Says:

    This is one of the best executed identities that i have ever seen. The logo and its variations are absolutely brilliant and truly imaginative. The motion graphics, posters, and graphic identity explore different inventive ideas under a strongly unified theme. LOVE IT

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  42. Danielle Says:

    I reckon The City of Melbourne logo is the best design for any cities!
    It has so many meanings: so versatile.. so mysterious yet so vibrant..
    one of Great logos!

  43. Troy Wilson Says:

    Yes obviously the cost of logo makeover is high. But if all see logo is designed technically like the logo of apple is designed according to Fibonacci series.

  44. oldironnow Says:

    Not a fan.

    As a MotoGP enthusiast in the USA, I always look forward to the Phillip Island round, with the awesome “open book” Melbourne logo being a top feature. It seemed timeless, pleasant and inviting; the symbol of a cool people.

    This year (2015 – great race, by the way) , there was a new paint scheme at the track, and I went searching for the reason why.

    I feel some classy and classic has been traded for the palette of 1980s America.

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