By Jennifer Farley

New Corporate Identity For Melbourne

By Jennifer Farley

The Melbourne City Council in Australia, hometown of SitePoint, recently revealed their new logo design for the city. The new logo features a big, bold M.


The logo was designed by giant American branding company Landor Associates, who also re-designed the Coca Cola logo on its 100th Anniversary. The new Melbourne logo comes in several variations and in some versions appears almost jewel-like, or maybe for some critics, like cheap glass.


The official blurb from the Lord Mayor of Melbourne;

The new design will become an icon for Melbourne, synonymous with the modern, vibrant, cool city Melbourne is today and will continue to be in the future.

Melbourne’s previous logo (see below), which was designed about 15 years ago, was a leaf, and considered to be somewhat weak.

Needless to say, these things don’t come cheap and there have been expressions of concern that the new logo has cost an awful lot. The Mayor of the city revealed that the preliminary research cost Melbourne City Council $91,000, while the final design cost $148,000. (I’m making a mental note here to charge more for logo design).

The Lord Mayor has defended the cost, declaring that savings would be made in the long run by using the new logo. The old leaf logo would be gradually phased out, saving the city about $90,000 per year.

The logo is just part of the overall branding, and is now in place on the City Council’s website, stationery, brochures and will be appearing all over the city.


Personally, I like the dark blue multi-faceted version, but I’m not too keen on the flat colors or the outline version. It is a big improvement on the old leaf though.

The Australian Herald Sun newspaper asked local design students to produce a logo to beat the new expensive M, and here are a few of the logos produced. What do you think? Are any of the freebies better?

So what do you think of the new Melbourne logo, like it or loathe it? Or maybe just indifferent? What do you think about the costs involved with designing and developing a new corporate identity like this?

  • I am quite mixed about it at the moment. It looks… interesting, but it has a cheap look about it, like it could have been designed from someone on Digital Point, hmmm will have to give it time to settle.

  • Branding is so much more than just designing a logo. Do you really think they spent all that money just for the logo. The branding company will have done all kinds of research, prototypes and communicated with the client throroughly throughout the process. Not only that they will have been given advice on how to push the brand, where to use it and how to use it most effectively. Whilst those kinds of prices may seem extortionate to some, that’s the level of money you’ll pay for quality corporate branding.

    The logos produced by the students don’t even come close, although I am rather fond of the top right one :)

  • Hi Dean
    I fully realise that the cost was for more than just the logo. That’s why I said “The logo is just part of the overall branding”, I was attempting to be tongue in cheek when I said I wanted to charge more for logo design.

  • mtjones

    It looks like one of the flying things from Tron.

  • DylanFM

    This should certainly have been done by an Australian business.

  • Most of the student logos are weak. Top left looks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the fifth one looks like the Pyramids of Egypt, and most of the others don’t have the right tone. More than one was influenced by Landor’s result.

    I quite like the new official logo. The angles and internal reflections could be a nod to Federation Square. Perhaps the branding could have been done for less money, but the high price probably makes the council feel as though a thorough job has been done. I’d have been willing to do it for $200K all up ;)

  • Ryan Wray

    First logo on the 3rd row looks good. Be good for areas noticeably surrounded by hills (like Wodonga).

    I think the new logo looks a little amateurish and a bit too busy. It looks like someone was trying to create a 3D optical illusion but failed.

  • It looks a bit 1980s to me – reminds me of the I-Robot game or some of the corporate branding in the RoboCop movie! The M is quite novel, but the text below looks like an afterthought. I prefer the student one in the top-right, although it seems to have been influenced by the new design.

    It’s rare for people to like new logos. The amount of money spent is normally proportional to the amount of criticism. Still, it’s better than the 2012 Olympics logo!

  • I’m not massively keen on the new one. Out of the student designs I quite like the light blue of the top right one. As a foreigner (England), I thought the logo for Melbourne was the one used by Visit Melbourne – which I think is alot better than the new one – use that!

  • Could be worse. As a non designer I don’t think it looks that bad. Certainly better than the 2012 Olympics abomination for London!

  • Anonymously

    The logo speaks more to the city not knowing itself than to the city itself.

  • lol @ mtjones

    I like it – it does look like that building in Fed Square. (

    It also does look like something out of an 80s computer game – but I think that suits, considering how 80s fashion dominates Melbourne.

  • The concept is good enough although I don’t know much about to determine if it fits to the city.

    BUT the main problem of the logo is that, the transparency effects are done poorly in my opinion.

    The different shades of blue (with both their color and shape) looks like they all painted randomly next to each other and don’t give an illusion of the 3rd dimension or transparency.

    Now squint your eyes and check out the little light blue triangle on the left; it’s way too dominant, why so, what is the reasoning?

    Or check the one on their website header; this time you see a dark green clutter on the left, and a dominant large blue triangle pointing left on the right side. Again no feel of a whole (M shape) or a reasoning behind.

    With regard to the current state of the mark, even a simple M shape divided into light and dark blue vertically is far better.

    Overall; it’s good but needs work.

  • obliquegeek

    I like the idea and I’m sure it’ll grow on people over time. The execution is almost there but something doesn’t feel quite right – maybe a little too complex one the left.

    I can’t quite get my head around the fact that they didn’t turn to an Melbourne based company! At the very least it should have been an Australian company…

    Off topic but, what’s going on with the title, on the main image, of the new logo at the start of the post? – “Melobroune1” that’s really helpful…

  • It is already under fire from Raja Sandhu

  • Mind you, if my dominant memories of Melbourne were used to design the logo, it would have been junkies hanging around the benches on Brunswick Street.

  • The old leaf logo would be gradually phased out, saving the city about $90,000 per year.

    How does that work? Surely introducing a new logo costs money, not saves it.

  • Tim

    When I saw it, my mind keep drifting to the latest designs on the trains. Considering we have such a messed up transport system, it seems odd to pick a logo that makes you think of the problem. Air conditioned trains in 45 degree heat anyone? Doesn’t matter, ’cause we’ve got a funky new logo :)

  • frost

    mmm, looks like a MAC OSX background, applied to a M shap

  • Yeah, I’m not sure how it will save money over time. Are they paying a royalty on the old mark?

    The old logo seems like it was introduced to a committee and then overworked until everyone had a chance to stuff something into it. What a dog’s breakfast!

    Overall, I like the new one : )

  • packingchina

    yea,I’m trying it woth your idea.
    [url=]packing machine[/url]
    [url=]vacuum packaging machine[/url]

  • I would have chosen to simplify and modernise the old logo, not to create a totally different thing. The old logo has pretty decent type work for the «city of Melbourne» words. The M plus leaf plus yellow dot plus column is quite weak, but it may have been possible to focus on one of those elements (the leaf?).

  • Anonymous

    very cheap looking logo, very ugly, no taste at all

  • It’s an optical illusion… and it looks like it’s falling in on itself in the center..

  • palgrave

    I like it. I flew into Melbourne once and it fits with the look of the place from above.

    At least Melbourne didn’t suffer the same fate as Belfast. They spent £430,000 on a heart lying on its side that is identical to the logos of the English towns Barrow and Blackburn!

  • Wow, that’s a lotof money…
    As for your question, no, no sfree logo are even close.
    I kind of like the new logo… but not at 100%. A bit “jewel” and “shapr ends”.

  • I actually like it, a lot.

    One word “multifaceted”.

  • Anon

    looked at raja sandhu’s design and gotta say that the only thing in common is the M. don’t know why he’s getting all hot and bothered about this…

  • Anonymous Says:
    July 29th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    very cheap looking logo, very ugly, no taste at all

    Wow… Such a strong opinion but as an anonymous heckler, it’s worthless. If you have something worthwhile to say, you should have the courage to stand behind it.

  • mathieuf

    I work for a government organization that recently paid an astonishing amount for a new logo. The logo is very simple and looks a lot like other logos. Per the designer, the logo represents the qualities, services, etc., that the organization strives for, as was communicated to them during the research phase. Still, it needs a textual explanation to achieve this, it does not communicate this without one (many of us employees think this).

    I am surprised that Melbourne went outside of the city for creative talent. I hope the Council receives some criticism for this.

    Personally, I like the first logo from the students the best. That is my preference, everyone has their own preference; which makes logo design hard. (You have to know who to sell it to, but that is a different thread.)

  • Well that’s the thing about branding an organization…. The more people involved, the tougher it is to satisfy them all and everyone has an opinion. That’s why design by committee is often so expensive and can/will result in a less than adequate product.

    We branded a software company before Boeing acquired them. The branding continued after they became a Boeing company but I’m just glad we designed the logo before because after they were acquired, there were plenty of cooks in the kitchen :)

  • Paying huge sums for a new logo is one of the great scams out there imo. Of course the marketing bods will have all sorts of language to justify it and their price. Fresh image that will embed itself in people’s conciousness, conjours images of a bold, forward thinking city…yada yada. You pay some huge amount of cash and wind up with a logo that you simply have to back 100% or look a fool.

  • I like blue multi faceted version shown first.

    It’s easy to criticize but ultimately we don’t know what the research behind it was or the brief. Maybe the execution is bang on the mark?

  • Anonymous

    lousy and look messy in designer eye.

  • I understand the “prism” effect the logo is striving for, but for me, it doesn’t work — somehow the flow is off. Ever seen an Escher drawing that doesn’t work? Like that.

  • Wayde Christie

    I love it. Really nice.

  • I agree with some users. The new logo does not tap its full potential. It definitely looks like the designers strove to create a reflective partly transparent 3D look like a prism. However, the attempt didn’t work out that well in my opinion. The logo just doesn’t communicate. Personally, I like the original logo more. It communicates a sense of professionalism and organization.

    I think the new logo is supposed to put across the impression that the city of Melbourne is future-oriented and not conservative. However, in my opinion, it misses the touch of competency and productivity. Enough said.

  • blogqueen

    Wow! I never knew you guys were from Melbourne that’s amazing. I live there too and the city is truly evolving.

  • Lol, not conservative? The whole country is conservative, so they’re onto a loser with that one :D

  • MJ Stapleford

    I really like the fragmented blue M. Landor has done very well with the bold symbol. I think it was a good move to have a redesign of the previous logo as the refreshed Identity will be more suited to the times with the contemporary style. Thanks for sharing.

  • I simply loved the new logo! I think they are correct that old one was pretty dull. the new one looks vibrant and it gives that shades of cutting on a diamond, which i feel the city is!!

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