Despite being a national capital and a city of considerable size (with the population of nearly 2 million people), Minsk lacks a clear identity. Its residents define themselves mostly by nationality, and admit that Minsk does not have a particular culture or tradition of its own. INSTID was asked to help improve international recognition of Minsk to help it attract foreign investment, visitors, and talent. Within the city itself, the task was to help residents feel proud of Minsk and develop a unique city culture based on their distinct character, and create a powerful platform for city’s future development.
Instead of reflecting on multitude dimensions of the city’s life, the brand strategy captured Minsk’s essential quality, the ability to rationalise, engineer, and create effective practical solutions to complex technological and scientific problems. This quality is deeply ingrained in Minsk residents, many of whom are third generations engineers. It manifests itself in the user-friendly layout of the city and the rhythmical and reliable work of its services. It also propels a burgeoning industry of software programming, engineering, and high precision manufacturing that has emerged in Minsk over the last two decades. The core idea of Minsk as a city of intellect is expressed in the slogan Think Minsk. It sends a clear message to foreign investors, tourists and talent that Minsk welcomes and fosters knowledge-based production and exchange of ideas. It gives a direction for the city development and propels Minsk towards becoming a new growth place in the world economy.
A graphic expression of this archetypal quality of Minsk is delivered by the combination of the light blue colour (the colour of communication, abstract thinking, and intellect), and the line (as a most flexible and effective shape). Given the lack of any common symbols for the city at present, we decided against creating a defined decorative graphic symbol. Rather, we created a platform for fostering and channeling the creative energy of Minsk residents by defining very clear, laconic, and abstract tenants of the Minsk visual style. In other words, we designated alternating blue and white stripes of equal width as the key and only imperative for the city visuals and opened them to the Minsk residents, businesses and public bodies to interpret and use. Below are some illustrations how the city visual style can be effectively and powerfully implemented in a variety of contexts and applications.
We further spurred the development of a unique city culture by initiating the creation of Minsk’s own music, fragrance, street food, a piece of public infrastructure, and a typeface. This expresses the city brand for all types of perception (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, gustatory).
By focusing on the archetypal quality of Minsk and laying out the platform for the creation of a unique city style instead of giving some rigidly defined visuals, Brand Minsk has become an original, imaginative and bold solution that not only leaves room for the city’s future development, but also gives it direction, energy, and appeal. Read Less