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
Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column