City of London

Reinvention and renewal for 2,000 years; helping London compete with a destination brand for the City.

  • Sector:
  • Place
  • Visual Identity
  • Verbal Identity
  • Brand Strategy
  • Digital Design and Development
  • Film & Photography

As a core part of the City’s resilience programme, Chris Hayward, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, articulated a vision to position the Square Mile as a destination for leisure and culture, not just a place to work. The new vision would help London attract investment, jobs, and talent. 

But what actually is the City of London, where is it, how is it different from London, and isn’t it an expensive place just for bankers? Or is it an organisation none of us knows much about? 

Research showed that even Londoners are confused about what the City is. International audiences come to tick off their ‘must see’ list and leave again to eat and drink elsewhere. And yet they are standing on the spot where history happened, the birthplace of London packed with meaning and significance – and with so much more to explore. 

We realised that our job was to show how the City’s story was London’s story; visitor or resident, no time in London is complete without being where it all began.

City of London billboard

As the global financial hub that invented modern markets, just one square mile has had an outsized impact across the globe, touching almost every person in the world in some way. It has been a crucible of human ingenuity since London began. The Romans, Shakespeare, Marconi, green tech, finance. It’s the place where people have come together for 2,000 years to collaborate on ideas that spread across the world – an alluring prospect for our curious target audience, hungry for new and meaningful experiences together.

And here lay our emotional territory to build a brand around. We saw culture and commerce as two sides of the same coin. Both feed each other, both require the human qualities of invention, imagination, and collaboration that the City has in bucketloads.

With an extremely tight timeframe, we identified high value audience targets and uncovered insights, pulling together an extensive findings document before sprinting to positioning and identity concepts. We ran testing with audience segments using System 1 to refine these ideas, finalising the brand and art direction before developing the website, copy, photography library, guidelines, and messaging matrix. Building detailed personas for targeting, we developed strategic pillars that were used to align placemaking work.

City of London People Culture Commerce
City of London Locations
City of London Badges
Family in City of London
City of London positioning
City of London Guildhall Art Gallery
City of London Storeys upon stories
City of London Photography
City of London mural Heroes, villains, innovators, creators
City of London gig
City of London Laptop
City of London component blocks


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