29 Sep 2006
Ceci n'est pas un logo 
More from Peter Saville on the Manchester branding exercise in an interview on the Marketing Advertising and Design website.

Saville reveals that the 'original modern' slogan (coined by his graphic designer friend Paul Barnes) is not actually a slogan: "I have not produced a slogan for Manchester. If a city uses a slogan, it suggests that it needs a slogan, and if it needs a slogan then it's got a problem."

Similarly the 'M' (and 'Manchester') logo is not actually a logo: "You've got to do something impressive, and a logo is not it."

Confused? Don't be.

The branding exercise is actually a "roadmap towards a better perception of the city". 'M' is, in fact, a "signifier of the brand vision". Original and modern are really "targets".

That's almost an open invitation in my book.


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Peter Saville colour wheel
A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

The Durutti Column