Guadalajara, the capital city of the Mexican state of Jalisco, worldwide known for its gastronomy, mariachi and tequila; presented earlier this month its new image “Guadalajara, Guadalajara” which will become the symbol of the metropolitan area of Guadalajara with the aim of promoting the city at an international level and provide a sense of belonging to the inhabitants of the “City of Roses”.
The project was developed by the city government, it costs $0 pesos, and took 6 months to be ready. The brand is inspired by the song “Guadalajara, Guadalajara” by Pepe Guízar, which is famously known around the globe and describes the essence and culture of the city (and metropolitan area).
The identity features 1) The main logotype that simulates the singing verse “Guadalajara, Guadalajara” from the song that with its curves and increasing size gives us the effect of being sung. 2) Three colors (Orange, blue and pink) taken from the musical education strategy based on the synesthesia, which associates the colors with the musical notes, and when played back they give us the main notes of the song. And 3) A series of phrases and posters inspired by the handpainted Mexican signs (Sooooo cliché) that show the local slang and culture, created with the horrible free typeface “Chinese Rocks Regular”.
“Three colors (Orange, blue and pink) taken from the musical education strategy based on the synesthesia, which associates the colors with the musical notes, and when played back they give us the main notes of the song. “
I have to say that I’m proudly born in Guadalajara, and this brand doesn’t make so proud as a designer. As a Tapatío it really makes me happy see all the culture my state has and all the personalities that were born there (including me obviously), and even makes me laugh with the slang words, but unfortunately my designer’s part is screaming “Noooo, Why!?”.
The main logo doesn’t bother me, of course, it can be improved, the type is somewhat squeezed, but the idea that it seems to be sung is nice. And I know there is a controversy and some are saying that it is a copy of the “Arts Santa Mònica” from Barcelona, designed by Mario Eskenazi, but in my opinion it is not. You can’t say it’s plagiarism or copy because it is not exactly the same, first, the “Arts Santa Mònica” logo is a single word, the double word arrangement is just an application, and second, the execution and mood is different. But honestly, I don’t wanna write a lot about this because I don’t think its worth it.
What it’s really worth it to talk about, are the horrible posters and applications that have nothing to do with the main graphics. I mean, c’mn WTH is going on with that typeface! It doesn’t even represent the amazing work of the Mexican sign makers, if they wanted to represent that work, why not hiring them and then digitize the custom made artwork? Go big or go home!
Then we have those live traced and really bad trichromatic illustrations of personalities with doodles on their hair… Speechless. I’m really confused with these applications because at first, they show us some really nice illustrations perfectly colored and detailed with decent titles that seem more faithful to the vintage Mexican posters and then they hit us with these horrible abstractions, and sadly I’m sure those are the ones they are going to use.
Same problem with the phrases/typography, at first they show us these custom artwork for the slang words, and then they slap us in the face with the free font and bad arrangements. I don’t know what is going on, it looks like they “hired” a lot of designers and the cheaper was the winner, and the other ones with the really nice artworks were just featured there as a consolation prize.
All I can say is that it’s so sad that being the city that represents Mexico around the world (or at least the most known) they didn’t give it the importance it needed. I don’t know if they hire a Graphic Designer or not, but I’m sure that the person they government hired didn’t know how to design and manage a brand that pretends to be international and to represent Mexico.
P.S. At least we will now have a trendy spot to take pictures when visiting Guadalajara.
But well.. at least this is my f opinion