Andreas Fogarasi (A)

Public Brands-Bordeaux, 2004
The series Public Brands consists of various works which examine the branding of the public sphere. As states, regions, cities or city districts increasingly define themselves in terms of corporations, their visual representations also change. Logos, claims and corporate design are now, to an ever-growing extent, replacing traditional insignia such as coats of arms and flags. Tourism was the first area to follow the example of private companies in trying to position geographical locations as brands. Now, public administrations are also starting more and more to present themselves to their citizens as a brand and, not least, to offer them the chance to identify with it.

The logo of Bordeaux - a symbol consisting of three interlocking crescents - has long been a fixture of the city´s visual history. It was first used officially in the 1930s to mark new public buildings - this period saw the construction of the employment office and a large stadium, as well as Bordeaux´s pavilion at the 1937 Paris World Exposition. In the 1980s, a first version of the logo with the signature "Bordeaux" became an omnipresent marker for anything which had to do with the city. In the 1990s, the logo was revised; the crescents are now brushstrokes of red, blue and beige - corresponding to the colours of wine, the Gironde River, and the sandstone facades of the old part of town. (A.F.)