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Słupsk is a medium-sized city located in northern Poland. Its history dates back a long time to the 8th century. Turbulent history of the Pomerania region, influences from different nations: Slavic, Kashubians, Germans and even Swedes have shaped the rich identity of the place. In the past, Słupsk was an important trading centre and a member of the Hanseatic League. In the post-war Poland, the city became the capital of the voivodeship of significant industrial importance.

Currently, Słupsk remains slightly on the outskirts of the main economic and political life. The Słupsk voivodeship is gone and the city struggles with demographic challenges. The industry is concentrated elsewhere in the country and young people migrate in search for jobs. And perhaps this is why something completely unexpected happened in Słupsk. The mayor elections were won by someone from the outside. An openly gay LGBT activist, a celebrity and a regular on TV shows, but also an apt politician and one of the most hard working members of the Polish Parliament – Robert Biedroń. His campaign slogan was “Finally, a change”.One of the tools to help this change happen and build the Słupsk brand is professional branding.

Rio Creativo was commissioned to create a flexible, multidimensional visual identity system of the city that would simplify communication with inhabitants, tourists, representatives of public authorities or investors. The brief had a clear message – the new logo must reference the city’s coat of arms. Therefore, the griffin and three waves of the Słupia River are part of the main creative concept. The heritage and tradition as well as the rich history of Słupsk were combined with latest design which will effectively function both as the city seal and on a smartphone screen.

The new visual identity system is reasonable and organised. Its modular construction does not allow many changes in the application. We decided to leave room for creativity, but on strictly defined terms. The new CI is being implemented and it starts being visible in the urban space. We have institutions, municipal companies and other units using it. We are certain that Słupsk has gained an effective and inclusive tool to narrate the city’s brand in the 21st century.

Design: Rio Creativo / Creative Team: Marek Guziński / Paulina Szczepańska / Marcin Mikołajczyk / Magdalena Kordasz / Client Service: Marcin Zgórski / Izabela Bojanowska-Guz
Photography: Ryszard Nowakowski (SAS)

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