Cardiff has a new look - and dragons aren't welcome

The IPKat was mildly bemused to read on the BBC website that Cardiff has spent £45,000 on a new logo to promote the city. The logo is made up of the name Cardiff in English and Welsh and eight coloured disks. According to the Cardiff tourist website

‘The radical redesign is a visual representation of the city and everything that it stands for. Gone are the stereotypes of daffodils and dragons. The brand takes inspiration from the palette of colours that represent the Capital City – from the greens of its parks to the blues of its waterfront.’

Less kind visitors to the BBC’s website have pointed out the similarity between the new logo and the contents of a tube of Smarties.

The IPKat who, like all good intellectual property lawyers, has a soft spot for South Wales wonders if it’s really a good idea to dissociate Cardiff from its heritage. If it is, then he wonders if it’s wise to replace the Cardiff ‘brand’ with an image that is so abstract that one needs slightly dodgy marketing bumph to understand it.

Cardiff has a new look - and dragons aren't welcome Cardiff has a new look - and dragons aren't welcome Reviewed by Anonymous on Monday, February 18, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. I'm not sure the Cardiff 'brand' ever involved dragons or dafs. Brains beer and Clarks pies are far more evocative as any resident will tell you.

    When you pay the designers £45 grand I guess you expect the fee to include the kind of drivel mentioned.

    The only defence possible here is that it was a lot cheaper than other well publicised logos - eg the London Olympics (sorry, am I allowed to use those words) !

  2. Sorry Ilanah, I rather trivialised a very important underlying question about the Cardiff logo; is it a registrable trade mark ?

    Well, the UK-IPO will tell you that it is all a question of whether the 'surplus' (in this case, the Smarties)is enough to counter the descriptive element (Cardiff in English and Welsh).

    The CFI will ask how many TM receptors the average consumer for the relevant goods has in their brain, and whether the mark in suit is capable of implanting itself in those receptors.

    All of this 'analysis' gives the average,legal-certainty craving IPKat the proverbial willies.

    So, my patented new test to get rid of this uncertainty is to ask the question; how much did the logo in question cost ? If over £40,000, we have a registrable TM. If the applicant is not prepared to say, then the fall back test is whether the designer's explanation for the logo is completely risible.

    On both counts, I'm happy to pronounce the Cardiff logo registrable !

  3. So if green is for parks and blue for the waterfront, what aspect of Cardiff/Caerdydd do purple, pink, orange and red represent?!?!

  4. In answer to anonymous above, there is a local area known as 'chip alley' (Caroline St). All manner of international cuisine may be had in this area, particularly following a heavy night of excess on the local Brain's Beer.

    All resulting colours of the pavement in chip alley are accurately reflected in the Cardiff logo.

  5. "So if green is for parks and blue for the waterfront, what aspect of Cardiff/Caerdydd do purple, pink, orange and red represent?!?!"

    The Rift?

  6. That organizations routine spend such sums for their names and logos is a sad reflection of current market-driven culture, which operates on the principle that the brand makes the product, instead of vice versa.

  7. Perhaps this is all just part of a bid to have a Nestle manufacturing site built in the city.


  8. Hmmm.. my big problem with it is the uncanny similarity to the Greece Tourism Logo -



All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.