The city of Porto new brand identity

The city of Porto got a new brand identity created by very talented White Studio’s team.


Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal, and it is globally famous for its renowned Port wine. However Porto in all his beauty has much more to offer than quality wine, and the  White Studio’s team had a very interesting task in front of them.

In June of 2014, we were invited to design the new identity for
the city of Porto and its city hall.
The challenge presented was very clear. The city needed a visual system, a visual identity that could organize and simplify communication with the citizens, and could at the same time define a clear hierarchy, bringing together the city and the city hall. We needed to represent Porto, a global city,
the city for everyone.
That city could never be an empty entity, or a mere geographic location, restrained by physical boundaries. It is filled with life, with character, with icons and symbols, with habits and ways of living, with landmarks, landscapes and a very particular horizon. It could not be summed up in a few buildings. It is alive, and its identity shouldn’t be fixed or closed. It needed to breathe and grow every day.
Ancient, Very Noble, Always Loyal, Undefeated City of Porto.
The city structure is such that it has very large urban area which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, and has a population of 1,4 million. The whole area is basically formed from many smaller cities combined into one big unity. Since the city of Porto is very old and has one of the richest heritage in Europe (its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO), there are certainly many things that could represent it.
For each citizen Porto represents a different thing. If you ask someone “What is your Porto?”
the number of answers is endless. We felt like we needed to give each citizen their own Porto.
We needed to show all the cities that exist in this one territory.
Thus it became clear to us that Porto needed to be much more than a single icon, much more than
a single logo. It needed complexity. It needed life. It needed stories. It needed personality.
Looking at Porto from an aesthetic point of view we found the inspiration we were looking for in the blue tiles spread all across the city. Although the city is known for a wide range of colorful tiles, with patterns and drawings that go from the totally geometric to the fully illustrative, only the blue tiles were used to tell stories. The blue tiles show our history, talk about the city and its landmarks, they are narrative by nature.
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Taking in consideration the number of elements that could be addressed to represent a part of identity the pattern system with local and historical context really seems like a great way to go.


The stylization of elements is done very minimalistic, using the same line thickness and it communicates very clearly so that almost everyone could understand what does Porto represent.


What do you think of this approach?

Share your thoughts on the project in the comments bellow.


Please check more interesting work from the talented  White Studio team.

As seen on Behance.

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Nik Ljubicic

Nik Ljubicic

Passionate Graphic designer, educator and blogger. Inspired by nature, beautiful design, blues music... Always seeking for ways to improve things, and make a positive impact.

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