Liverpool is our home city and as communicators and campaigners we have been passionately engaged in the city’s attempts to forge a positive and authentic identity. Having worked on the successful bid to become European Capital of Culture, we regarded the rehabilitation of Liverpool’s external image as unfinished business. Despite enormous progress and positive change, outsider perceptions were still often shrouded in negative images and media myths. Inward investment Agency, Liverpool Vision realised that a fresh approach was needed – one that would challenge preconceptions and express the personality of a city with a unique creative spirit and global perspective.
We felt that this was the moment for Liverpool to stop being apologetic, predictable and derivative. It was a chance to communicate difference by communicating differently – by showing it, not saying it.
The it’s Liverpool / i’m liverpool campaign was simple, confident and versatile. It was not a brand or a logo, reflecting our belief that the city’s identity could only be realised in the white space, blank canvas, empty stage or research lab where the new is born every day.
Instead of a traditional brand book and toolkit we created practical guidelines in the form of a not-a-brand book which was a collaboration with 12 of our favourite creatives. The campaign collateral was conceived in the same spirit – a multiplicity of surprising assertions and expressions, but one simple message – it’s Liverpool.
The overarching creative and underpinning philosophy continues to guide the city’s approach to place marketing, inward investment and curating the city’s creative offer. By designing a creative device that was always intended to be open, dynamic and evolving, it has allowed Liverpool Vision to continually refresh its visual expression without compromising the core idea and approach. In 2015 the campaign was shortlisted for City Nation Place Award’s Best Place Brand in 2015.