White Studio, multidisciplinary design studio based in Porto, London and Santiago de Chile, were in charge of designing a new identity for the city of Porto, and the result is amazing. An identity with endless possibilities based in a visual code formed by icons, designed and thought for Porto citizens, full of love and stories from them.
You may think by now that I’m obsessed with icons because I have talked a lot about them, but this project is a clear example of the potential they have. There are two things about this project that made me chose it to write about it, number one: the way in which they thought it; and number two: the way they resolved it.
Starting with number one, White Studio decided to create the identity not based on the classic touristic places to represent Porto (like most of the city identities), but decided to represent it with what people really think and feel about their city, so they designed not only an icon or a single logo, but many icons that exemplify the love, personality, life and stories of each person. And, because for each person Porto is so different the identity has the potential to grow and being constantly renewed, and this is reflected in that at first were only 20 icons and now there are 70 and counting.
Moreover, the visual result is surprising, aesthetics is inspired by the blue tiles that are found all around the city, but this is not what captivated me, mainly because I did the same at college: a system of icons based on Istanbul tiles (which btw are hidden in the trunk of memories). What really impressed me is the system they developed for the iconography, each icon is designed so that it can be connected to all the others, All! And, although I do not like some as the heart and the leaf, the way they come together make me forget about it.
In conclusion, for me this projects is full of meaning, is excellently thought out and is more than just an identity, it’s the representation of the feeling from all the Porto citizens.
But well.. at least this is my f opinion.