What on earth has happened to the Hull City of Culture Facebook and Twitter avatar? It has gone from the recognisable Hull 2017 logo created to brand the Bid, to a very amateur black text on white background, that has been branded a joke by the online community.
Hull City of Culture Facebook page was created long before the winning announcement, by Volcom and run by a dedicated group of volunteer admins. Between them they managed to create lively engaging online conversations via content promoted on the page and built up engagement to 18,000 Likes. The volunteers were relieved of their roles as of Monday March 23. With the recent changes to Facebook, building that kind of following now would be a considerable task.
Two weeks ago the administration of the page was transferred to the the City of Culture company and since then it has taken something of a backward step not just with the new avatar, but also in terms of the depth of content. Namely Hull Museums, Hull Truck, City Hall and Hull New Theatre all council backed organisations with their own budgets for promotion.
I raised this issue online recently and had my card marked. I was told to let them get on with their job, but this logo fiasco has forced my hand.
I ask again how will this new company know about the Polish disco that raises money for aid charities working overseas? How will they know about the cut and stick community workshops? How will they know about the small time gallery or music night, happening someplace they will never show their corporate face? How will they have one ounce of the knowledge and connections built up over many years?
The page has a new purpose now, to make announcements about their planned programme for Hull 2017, but does that mean it is no longer an all inclusive platform for existing cultural activity?
It is a missed opportunity. Hull is fully aware that the 2017 Bid branding was temporary and related to the Bid process only. We know that the event proper requires world class logo design and branding, but this monochrome monstrosity will create a bad impression.
Any number of temporary solutions could have been realised with a little forethought and imagination. Suggestions range from asking schools to hold a competition to design a temporary image, which would have created interest, maintained momentum and given a bit of ownership of Hull 2017 to the schools.
The avatar could have been given over to local artists and photographers on a rota basis, to provide a dynamic platform for Hull related works, whilst continuing to promote the city, maintain engagement with the page and its homegrown culture.
Local design agencies could have created something far better, that would have worked as a temporary design until the new logo and branding promised to arrive, according to Hull Tourism Office, in September.
This City Belongs to Everyone was the name of the Bid film, but right now Hull2017 looks like it is in the hands of dimwits. The rest of the world is looking at us Dave W pointed out on twitter, Hull City of drunken scrawl, another comment read and what is with that European looking 7 with the t-cross?
I for one, do not want to have to look at that eyesore for the next six months do you? I have removed the sidebar Facebook widget on here lest anyone thinks that branding bomb is anything to do with me.
Hull may be the poor relation to some, a joke to many more, but you can’t come and mess about with our city without expecting some kind of response.