Visually redefining a brand won’t fix its problems

As a creative professional working in Malta, there’s much to fault with our industry but what annoys me more than anything is when I see some of Malta’s biggest brands gratefully swallowing tripe for cream, served to them by foreign creative companies because of some misguided belief that if it’s made abroad, it’s somehow better.

For example, take Air Malta’s rebranding, executed last year by FutureBrand London for a reported total cost of 1.9 million Euro. As an agency with a global reputation, do I hold FutureBrand to a higher standard than other local branding firms? Of course I do! Yet they still failed to get anywhere near my expectations with this exercise. In order to demonstrate why, I’m going to compare Air Malta’s new aircraft livery with a spectacularly successful piece of Maltese ‘vernacular design’ – the Malta Bus (click here for video).

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Plumbers vs creativity firms. Who’s more professional?

This week I had lunch with a friend, who, like me, happens to be the owner of a business creativity company in Malta. Our topic of conversation was one that we seem to revisit over and over – institutionalised practices that bring about dissatisfactory consequences in our business relationships. Our discussion was inspired by a simple email request that we both received from a local law firm searching for a creative organisation to help rebrand their company. They enclosed a list of pre-identified communication pieces to cost in order to be considered for the position. Presumably, there would be some sort of elimination process based on the total cost. Needless to say, neither of us gave this any serious consideration.
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The new Labour Party logo

A number of you have solicited my opinion about the new Malta Labour Party logo. The symbol seems to have generated quite a bit of interest judging by the number of comments on the Times of Malta web site. In this post, I will examine this topic and address the appropriate issues.

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