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Budepast Umbrella Brand Identity Design

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Regaining a sense of belonging
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS AWARDS: existing completed examples
Project title
Budepast Umbrella Brand Identity Design
Full project title
Budepast Umbrella Brand Identity Design by Elevate Strategy and Design

The emblem of a metropolis can be seen in countless different places, ranging from enormous billboards to the thin strip banners of the commuting buses.
The council of Budapest is built up of more than 50 individual companies. We have designed a dynamic brand identity design system for these companies. All elements of the brand identity system can appear distinctively within the same styles.

What was the geographical scope of your project?
Budapest — Capital of Hungary
Budapest — Capital of Hungary
Does your project address mainly urban or rural issues?
Mainly urban
Does your project refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to a physical transformation of the built environment ('hard investment')
Has your project benefited from EU programmes or funds?
Has your project won an EU prize?
Your project is fully completed?
When was your project implemented?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Social media
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As a representative of an organisation
Please provide a summary of your project

Sustainability, broad-mindedness, equality: these inherent values ​​of Budapest were put into a single graphic framework. With the help of a central grid system, we could define basic rules and proportions, which represent Budapest in a unique and consequent continent. Every organization's characteristics could be well defined with different shapes laid on the system — from landscaping to public lighting.
The modular identity brings safety and freedom simultaneously: the outcome smoothly fits into the bigger picture, meanwhile leaving room for the creative flow — even a tiny structural change results in a new visual world.
Each system element is based on a simple rectangle, which can be fundamentally changed by modifying its parameters. By changing specific parameters, the rectangle morphs into different shapes, and you won't even recognize the starting rectangle! Four different kinds of logic can be used to modify the basic shape that, combined with the grid system, enables the possibility of virtually infinite variations.

At the same time, the renewed symbol of Budapest preserved the symbolism of the old coat of arms: the wave line symbolizes the Danube, the one-tower castle Pest, the three-tower Buda, and the second gate of the Buda castle Óbuda. The keepers of the coat of arms date back to before the unification of the three cities, and the lion was in the coat of arms of Buda and the griffin in Pest.

Please indicate the main themes of your project with 5 key words
generative identity
modular identity
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of sustainability (including circularity) and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

Sustainability was a key theme of the new image: we created a framework that a graphic artist, marketer, or even social media manager in any company in the capital could operate regardless of their qualifications. In addition, we strived to develop a simple and understandable design language so that the new brand identity can serve the purposes of the capital for a long time.

Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

The main strategic points of the new city management are sustainability, security, and diversity - these values have been translated into a new identity system. The main colors also represent this: in the spirit of sustainability, the green of city parks appears, the dark purple shade surrounds and provides security like a velvet armchair, and red simply vibrates like a diverse city. Our design process began with examining and researching the international and domestic identities that provided insight. The primary source of inspiration was the identity of Oslo, and we collected a defining set of associations that included words such as budding, growth, network, order, teamwork, community, and openness.

Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

During the design process, it was a mandatory outcome that whichever municipal company is being designed using our system, it has to be easily understood by the viewer that it is owned and operated by the city of Budapest. That is why, in addition to the generative emblems, we have also developed a complete system of proportions. Inclusivity is also reflected in the fact that advanced design skills are no longer required for creative design, thanks to a well-functioning graphic framework.

Please explain how these three dimensions have been combined in your project.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

Sustainability, timeless aesthetic quality and inclusiveness have been paramount from the beginning of the design — this is what we have coded into the overall message of the identity.

Please give information on the results/impacts achieved by your project in relation to the category you apply for

In the first year, five organizations have already implemented the umbrella design, and according to the city government's plan, all organizations will switch to this in the next four years. According to the experience of the first organizations, the new logo was successfully and smoothly developed, and the rules of the identity manual were put into practice. In addition, the image of Budapest won one of the most significant awards in Hungary, the RGB Creative Design Award.

Please explain how citizens and civil society were involved in the in the design and/or implementation of the project.
Please also explain the benefits that derived from their involvement.

We started the design work based on an intensive, multi-day strategic workshop. Several people took part, ranging from the head of the Budapest Brand to the marketing department's staff. In addition, the local government also provided us with extensive research and design research, which provided a lot of information on the needs of the target audience and the strategic documentation.

Please explain what kind of global challenges the project addressed by providing local solutions

One of the most critical global challenges is the shortage of human resources. Although Budapest wants all 50 companies to have a unique and distinctive identity, it is tough to manage quickly and cost-effectively. It would not be easy to find a specialist for such a task: and this is where the generative identity provides the answer. The logo of a metropolis can appear on several different surfaces, from giant posters to the lowest, narrow little strip on the windshield of buses. We made sure during the identity system design that the identity could function just as effectively on all surfaces.

Please highlight the innovative character of the project as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the project.

There has never been an example of such an extensive and multi-organizational identity update in Hungary, the scale of the design and the generative, modular approach are also new. We did not find any other domestic examples of toolkits designed to operate the identity.

Please explain to the potential of transferring the projects’ results or learnings to other interested parties and contexts.
Please provide clear documentation, communication of methodology and principles in this context.

A generative and modular approach can be exciting for any company or organization, simply developing a well-functioning ratio system and designing components that harmonize with each other. This kind of design can be thought of as making a cocktail, where we give in advance what flavors and drinks blend well with each other, after which you can experiment and design freely. Before all this, however, a strategically focused, engagement-based workshop is essential where we can lay out the fundamental ethos and strategic principles of the new identity based on the participants' inputs. Following this method will result in a self-identical, authentic, and human-centered brand.

Is an evaluation report or any relevant documentation available?
If you would like to upload additional documentation, please upload it or write it below

Please find attached a short visual presentation of the Budapest Umbrella Brand Identity System.

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By ticking this box, you declare that all the information provided in this form is factually correct, that you assume sole liability in the event of a claim relating to the activities carried out in the framework of the contest, that the proposed project has not been proposed for the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2022 in any other category or strand and that it has not been subject to any type of investigation, which could lead to a financial correction because of irregularities or fraud.
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