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A new brand for Canberra: brilliant possibilities

Amanda Whitley

2013 has been a big year for Canberra.

The Centenary year has seen a packed program of events, and a growing sense of maturity and confidence in our city. New places to eat and drink have sprung up all over the place, several putting us on the national gourmet map…oh, and there’s that balloon that had all the world talking.

This year, we stopped apologising from being Canberra and started telling – and showing – everyone just how brilliant this city is.

Now, building on the momentum and success of Canberra’s Centenary year, the ACT Government has revealed a new city brand that will carry the story of Canberra into the next 100 years.

The project aims to shift perceptions of Canberra and to encourage more people to engage with Canberra as a place to live, work, learn, visit and invest.

Canberra is a place to stimulate your senses, engage your mind and fire your imagination. Big ideas emerge, circulate and grow here, thanks to unique links between leading thinkers in business, government, education and research.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the brand is a platform to tell all aspects of the Canberra and region story.

“When we started thinking about the lasting legacy from our centenary year, it became clear that we really needed to capitalise on the community and city pride that has emerged over the last 12 months,” the Chief Minister said.

“Early on in the year we got a real sense that people were feeling not only more connected to their city but were feeling really proud to call Canberra their home.

“This is not about just giving Canberra a new logo. Our city ‘brand’ has to be a collective idea – and a collective advocacy – about who we are and what we have to offer – a brand which truly represents what Canberra is all about.”

The brand architecture and visual identity is the product of a 15-month brand development process led by Generation Alliance and Coordinate. It involved extensive research, community consultation, strategy development and graphic design.

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker said the new brand represented Canberra well.

“Innovation and education are major elements of Canberra’s brand. It’s important that we position our city as a national and international destination for education and research, creating jobs and building a more vibrant culture,” Professor Parker said.

A further three months of community and stakeholder engagement will take place before the detailed program will be revealed in March 2014.

To learn more about Canberra’s brand and understand the journey about how it was created please visit and use #CBR to join the conversation on Twitter.


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

  • Helene Jermolajew

    All I can say is it is about time! Ever since I moved to Canberra in 1979 I’ve been growling about the fact that
    Canberra does not advertise itself enough, that the national media rubbishes us for being the Capital, that the tourism people don’t do enough to get out name out there and the worst of all when we had a massive opportunity to show ourselves off by inviting Oprah Winfrey to the Capital we didn’t do it – no wonder the rest of the world thinks that Sydney is the Capital – it advertises better.

    I’ve been travelling around the world since May of this year so unfortunately have missed all the celebrations (am still travelling) and so very few people know what Canberra is. When I say where I hail from the most common responses are things like ‘oh, nowhere important like the Capital Sydney’ or ‘Where’s that?’ or ‘Just a small place then, I’ve not heard of it’. I try to be an ambassador for Canberra and Australia as a whole but it is difficult when people aren’t interested in hearing about my town, they only want to hear about Sydney or Melbourne.

    So thank you for the current advances, it’s about time.



  • Trish

    In February this year I met a couple from Canada, here on a 12 month educational/military exchange program. They have loved living here SO much that they have decided to stay! They have lived and worked all over the world but they love my city the best. I am so proud of Canberra this year, so thrilled that we are finally ‘grown up’ enough to not bother responding anymore to the derision of the rest of the country, and to embrace all the great things we have here and promote them loudly and proudly through campaigns like this one. I was reading all the negative comments (about the whole branding ‘thing’) on facebook and after the first dozen or so I switched off. I think if you’re proud of your city, if you love your home town, then you should get behind this branding ‘thing’ and show a bit of local patriotism – even if you don’t know what ‘branding’ is about. Otherwise you just sound like someone from elsewhere.

  • Suzie

    I really love Canberra and tell everyone. I like the new brand but that clip made me cringe and then doze off. Not a scratch on the “things have changed” clip a coupe of years back.

  • Josh

    Looks generic.