Malaga Brand preliminary project

When cities compete to attract talent: a new city brand for a new paradigm.

Territory branding

Thanks to the present and future commitments it has made, the city of Malaga continues to attract attention and interest both on the European and international stages. Malaga city council and Promálaga launched a public tender to create a new city brand that would strengthen and boost its levels of global relevance and aspirational appeal. The tender was defined by a brief that set out some very specific needs: to move beyond the current tourist and cultural positioning, and develop a complete narrative for the city in order to attract talent. The winning bid was to be chosen by a professional jury made up of branding, creativity and strategy experts: Cristina Vicedo, Antonio Herráiz, Juan Aguilar, Alfonso Simón, Mónica Moro, Idamor Fernández and Jesús Espino.

Over the past three months, we have been working with Javier Torres Palau and Cristina Tarazona Lizarraga, the founding partners of Lizarraga Palau, to prepare one of the most challenging projects for us and for our city. We collaborated with a large number of individuals and professionals to present an attractive proposal that challenged the brief itself and designed a new way of telling Malaga’s story within a new context in which city brands compete to attract talent in the paradigm of digital nomads. The combination of local knowledge and international visions has fostered synergies between professionals and partners from many sectors, with different perspectives that have helped to enrich a bold, simple and timeless proposal.

We are now beginning three months of work in collaboration with Malaga city council and Promálaga to advance and finalise our draft proposal, laying the foundations to develop Malaga’s city brand and start working on a new strategic, visual and narrative direction for the city.

 

THE PROJECT

The result is a contemporary brand with global and local scope and impact, capable of moving beyond the strong inertia of the tourism trend and project itself with new, expanded value to people in Malaga, Spain and abroad. A brand whose concepts and forms are truly relevant and aspirational for them. A proposal that will include the people of Malaga in an exciting, stimulating and mobilising brand, making them proud to be part of the project.

LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL

A good life-work balance reconciles our desire for personal and professional development with the chance to live in a place that offers everything we need to be happier. Malaga gives people an opportunity to live life to the full, based on the dual human and technological foundation of life and progress, positioning the city as the ultimate all-round city in 21st-century Europe. This paradigm brings a new, more conscious and balanced way of understanding life, now seen as the vital balancing point between the personal and professional spheres that is needed to achieve a fulfilling life experience. This may seem so obvious as to be unquestionable nowadays: never before has this issue been so relevant or so talked about, making all of us question and rethink our priorities. Why give something up when you can have it all? Malaga is the answer, in city-form: an exceptional space that offers a series of unique and extraordinary intersections between quality of life, technology, connections, training, business, culture and tourism.

Malaga is the city where it is possible to lead a full life, without giving anything up. This is the driving force behind our story, and we believe it has a real and aspirational foundation. Real, insofar as it is based on objective, demonstrable facts, and aspirational in the way it sparks a galvanising ambition that has the capacity to truly transform the reality of the city and its inhabitants.

Malaga – a city that has it all. A city of traditions and contradictions, love and detachment, change and reinvention, openness and diversity, innovation and freedom. A lively, effervescent city, a reflection of life itself, where life manifests itself in all its fullness, with no half measures. A city where it is possible to grow and develop, learn and enjoy, imagine and create. The complete city.

THE STORY

The new brand will bring us an updated, refreshing story about the city of Malaga, a city that has created so much added value in recent years, but whose story has never been fully developed and presented in a structured and exciting way.

The narrative is unified, offering many interpretations, from the most tactical to the most profound, while inspiring and transcending our local context and the world beyond.

THE WORDMARK

The wordmark avoids the generally more motley and colourful world of tourist brands. Instead, it presents itself in a synthetic, even and contemporary way, coherently representing all the meanings defined for the brand, and presenting itself in an international context through language that connects it with the most significant city-territory brands in the world.

The aspect of the wordmark that makes it truly stand out and gives it its own unique and recognisable character is the accent above the first letter “á” in the word “Málaga”. The fullness of the circle as the backbone of the entire brand proposal is clearly and emphatically shown. The circle over the “a” is, without a doubt, the most distinctive and representative aspect of the brand. The inspiration for the idea came from the city of Malaga itself, with its round sun, which generates optimism and the unique light and climate which gave rise to our unmatched proposal.

CLAIM

Málaga. La ciudad redonda.

The slogan that brings the brand idea – “living life to the full” – into the conversation. “All-round” refers to the complete, well-rounded city: the result of that perfect balance between life and work.

This solution came as a surprise, because it uses a colloquial tone to turn the city’s great ambition into a fresh and positive desire to value what we already have – which is a lot – and what we want – which is even more.

It is not pretentious in any way. Yet the message is there, clear, transparent. Malaga is fullness. Malaga is the perfect place to live. An all-round city.

It also challenges Malaga’s self-esteem, because the slogan invites us to believe, to connect and to take part in an exercise of constructive optimism. To be proud to belong to a city that is complete in so many ways, yet still so undiscovered.

Málaga. The all-round city

Combining “Malaga” with “all-round” expresses the city’s fullness and completeness, connecting perfectly with our proposal to live life to the full.

The word “round” also conveys the idea of roundness in the sense of circularity.

A VOICE FOR THE CITY

Every brand needs its own unique voice that reflects its personality and vision. With this in mind, we created Málaga Sans, a display typeface in two weights (regular and bold) designed exclusively with Pedro Arilla of Arillatype Studio. It is a contemporary font that contrasts finials and stems with circular and square shapes, a symbol of the work-life balance that is possible in Malaga. Using a sans serif style, we designed a brand that speaks in a close, formal, local and global way. It is a versatile font that expresses formality with freshness, adapting the brand to any context and tone. We also included a set of icons that seek to enrich the visual vocabulary of the font with nods to the most iconic and popular features of the city.

A FLEXIBLE AND DIVERSE VISUAL SYSTEM

Each element of our visual system was born from the communicative and symbolic capacity of the circle. We generated a coherent, expressive, flexible and dynamic system that creates a consistent, attractive visual universe full of possibilities. We established six semantic pillars as visual concepts that structure and connect our visual universe with the brand story.

In doing so, we are enriching and strengthening our story at each point of graphic expression; because circles, spheres and round shapes express fullness, balance, connection, recreation, attraction and attention.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank the following people for generously sharing their ideas and knowledge of the city and for enriching the process: Victoria Ordóñez, Federico Beltrán, Salvador Moreno Peralta, Sergio Cubero, Esther Sánchez, Carlos Álvarez, Pablo Otaola, Manuel Arias, Pedro Luís Gómez and Manuel Enciso.

And, of course, to all those friends and colleagues who have contributed, directly or indirectly, to make this project possible: Pedro Arilla and Cristina Villellas, from Arillatype Studio; Jacobo Labella, Félix Sánchez, Adrián Mora, Gabriel Tineo, Teo Tineo and Daniel Natoli, from Peripheria; Araceli M. Chicano, Rocío M. Chicano, Ana Rocío García and Miguel Ángel Escribano, from NORDUR; Olga Beca, Pablo Peña, Juan Moreno, Marga Bellido, Vanesa Urbano, Israel López, Pablo Martínez, Pedro Sánchez de la Nieta and Álvaro Fernández Maldonado.