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I think this is a clear indication of the distance, which exists between the design community, governmental bodies & general public.
The city of Melbourne is not only home to some great design practices but also to small businesses, corporations, educational institutes & artistic practices, which all help shape our city. It's not until we educate this broader community about the talent that lies 'in their own backyard’, that we can demand more awareness ourselves.
Once this shift occurs it is 'they' that will demand support of a local creative industry from their respective governmental bodies.
Until this discussion is moved away from the four insular walls of the design community & into the public's eye, events like this will unfortunately continue to occur.
An Open Letter to the Lord Mayor of Melbourne
24th July, 2009
The City of Melbourne’s rebranding has attracted a veritable storm of controversy, not least because of Lord Mayor Robert Doyle’s inaccurate and unfortunate comments about Victoria’s design industry. Below is an open letter to Robert Doyle, written by Andrew Ashton and David Pidgeon from AGDA Victoria, asking him to outwardly support and promote Victoria’s design industry. We urge those of you who are interested in supporting the industry to take the time to leave your name, studio name and location in the comments section below. We will then pass on the collated signatures and comments to Robert Doyle, Lynne Kosky and John Brumby.
24 July 2008
The Right Hon the Lord Mayor of Melbourne,
Councillor Robert Doyle
City of Melbourne PO Box 1603 Melbourne VIC 3001
Dear Lord Mayor,
We are writing to you to express our concern over the recent release of the new brand mark for the City of Melbourne. It is of concern to us that the City of Melbourne seems to have ignored the stated Victorian Government policy of supporting and promoting the State’s design industry.
Mr Doyle, the pool of communication and brand design talent in Melbourne is unrivalled in this country and is arguably the most diverse in South East Asia. It is this fact that leaves us dismayed when trying to understand why you chose to appoint a Sydney based / American owned firm to complete a task that could have been just as successfully completed by any number of Victoria’s internationally acclaimed graphic designers.
As for the issue of the “daggy” incumbent design, we would have rather hoped that your significant experience in politics would have taught you to more deeply consider the implication of any public comment. It was frankly insulting to the original creator of the incumbent City of Melbourne brand Mr Richard Henderson of FHA Image Design. We all acknowledge that time waits for few styles and aesthetics but Mr Henderson’s work served the City very well for twenty years and such a glib, final assessment of this legacy does no marketing or design professionals any favours. It tends only to decrease the sophistication of community discussion around communication and brand design.
We urge you to consider and support fellow Victorian designers as you will find that many of these professional are in their own right symbols to the world of “how cool, intellectual, CREATIVE and urbane” Victorians are.
Andrew Ashton – Studio Pip and Co. Balaclava, Victoria / AGDA and AGI Member AGDA Victoria Treasurer
David Pidgeon – Design by Pidgeon East St KIlda, Victoria / AGDA and AGI Member AGDA Victoria Councillor
Show your support - Go to AGDA and add your name to the list
Guys thanks for taking the time to challenge this decision, we'd like to put our full support behind you and encourage our community to get behind you too. Melbourne competes on at an international level when it comes to exceptional design, Richard Henderson is a true example of this.
We support you @ Artisan
Michael Broderick, Diana Lagioia, Kevin Hall, James Champion, Joe Hura, Tara Broderick, Karen McGregor, Charlie Krowitz, Spencer Cook, Elke Braithwaite, Lawrence Akers, Erica Keppel, Jenna Lewis, Mathew Hehir, Debbie Younger, Ally Buchanan