Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Auckland's $174K logo to go

Auckland is ditching the $174,000 symbol that critics condemned as laughable rubbish. Photo / Supplied
Auckland is ditching the $174,000 symbol that critics condemned as laughable rubbish. Photo / Supplied

The frayed-A logo used to promote Auckland is being dumped and replaced with a new brand.

The lava-coloured logo featuring the letter A frayed at the edges over the word "Auckland" has attracted widespread criticism since being introduced three years ago at a cost of $174,000.

The logo emerged from an action plan to transform Auckland into an internationally competitive city.

It is used to brand major events, including the Rugby World Cup where it has been adapted to include rugby players, balls and goal posts.

Mayor Len Brown panned the logo in July. Just 18 per cent of respondents were aware of the logo in a recent survey of 4500 Aucklanders.

Yesterday, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) chief executive Michael Redman told councillors an opportunity existed to create a new brand as part of a visitor plan for the city.

Branding what Auckland stood for was part of the plan to increase the number of visitors to the city.

Mr Redman said the council no longer supported the frayed A, but did not know if it would be replaced with a logo or strapline to brand Auckland.

Councillor Cathy Casey suggested Auckland could return to the "much loved" City of Sails brand Tourism Auckland used from 1985 to 2008.

The frayed A is expected to be replaced with a new brand over the next few months in time for destination marketing next autumn.

"This is not going to be an expensive exercise," Mr Redman said.

In July, councillors decided that the Auckland Council pohutukawa logo would become the symbol for the region and used by council-controlled organisations, including Ateed, to recognise ratepayer funding.

They were responding to calls by officers for a single brand for Auckland, and after the Waterfront Auckland CCO went ahead and created a new blue and red W logo costing $25,000.

Mr Redman said Ateed still wanted to use a destination brand, but where there was council sponsorship, the pohutukawa logo would also be used.

When the frayed A logo was unveiled in September 2008, Aucklanders overwhelmingly criticised it as "A.palling", "laughable rubbish" and like a "pair of disgustingly ragged jean shorts".

Former Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard said the logo symbolised a city that is "frayed at the edges". Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey was one fan. He called it "vibrant, edgy, contemporary ... it is Auckland".

BRAND HISTORY

* The frayed-A logo is being dumped and replaced with a new brand. It was brought in three years ago at a cost of $174,000.

* In 2001, a proposal for a new slogan/logo for Auckland, Auckland "A", as part of the Auckland festival was panned.

* A new wavy blue logo imposed after the 2007 local body elections cost $329,000.

- NZ Herald

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