Places have a feel about them. Companies, too” notes UK based Institute for Identity with aims “to nurture the intangibles” and make us understand them instantly and intuitively. “It’s intricate work”. The company’s stunning visual branding for Irkutsk is one of the case studies that prove them right.   

“Some call us ‘the makers of golden dust’. Others say we are counsellors to nations. Corporate anthropologists. Whatever the name, our work addresses three human needs: belonging, structure, and meaning” adds INSTID.

“Irkutsk’s visual style is spontaneous and liberating,” says Natasha Grand, co-founder of INSTID, the company behind the rebrand per Calvert Journal. “It aims to be powerful and emotionally charged enough to attract attention anywhere it’s applied and give people the energy to make the trip to Irkutsk. The idea behind the brand is one of rebellion, of pushing the boundaries and challenging yourself” she adds of the not so “cosy” or “comfortable visual style”. Something like that would not be true to Irkutsk notes Grand.

The brand core idea of Irkutsk’s visual brabind is: “Plug In!” per UnderConsideration. “Free, spontaneous, wilfull, protesting, active, contrasting, sharp and bright” the branding of the city expresses three core messages. “Electric charge” (tense proportions, contracts, and disproportions), “Lift” (abstract and absolute visual means olours, forms, and textures) and “Turn over” (minimal standards, deliberate breach of genre principles and rules).

This “liberating” visual style of the city of Irkutsk takes typography to a whole new level of branding and re-introducing a city like Irkusk which is often overlooked by the Kremlin yet, this Siberian city couldn’t even be bothered. Irkutsk’s Sergei Levchenko remains one of the country’s few regional governors not endorsed by the Kremlin note the Guardian.

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