A new brand identity was unveiled for Belfast today.
The new brand is spearheaded by a heart-shaped B logo, accompanied by messages including the word 'be' — such as 'be welcome', 'be part of it', and 'be vibrant'. Its aim is to help market Belfast to international visitors and potential investors, promoting the city as an exciting, vibrant and welcoming place.
Lord Mayor Councillor Tom Hartley said that Belfast's moment was here and now and this golden opportunity must be grasped.
And he said that the people of Belfast are key to its success and its bid to become a world class city in which to live, work, invest and visit.
Councillor Hartley was speaking as a new brand identity was unveiled at a major event at the Waterfront Hall, attended by around 250 of the city's leading lights, including representatives of the public, private, community and voluntary sectors.
Identifying the welcome given to visitors by the people of Belfast as a key factor in its growing popularity as a destination, the Lord Mayor said: " Just a couple of weeks ago, the most powerful man in the world visited a small number of major European cities ahead of standing down as US President. One of the cities George Bush chose to visit was Belfast — and that speaks volumes as to how far our city has come in recent years. We have a rich history — of both good times and bad times.
"We shouldn't forget our past as it is important in determining who we are. But this is about here and now and it is about the future, and what a future we can have if we pull together.
"This city doesn't have wall to wall sunshine. It doesn't have miles of miles of golden beaches. It doesn't have iconic buildings like Paris or New York. But, in my opinion, we have the best people in the world and that is our strength.
"Research in development of the brand on how others perceive us showed that the welcome of the people made us stand apart. As first citizen of this city, that makes me prouder than anyone could be. But we can't stand back and let the moment pass. Now is the time for us to believe it and have the confidence to go and tell the world."
Mr Hartley said the unveiling of the new branding of Belfast was significant.
"This is not about a logo on a piece of paper. It is an opportunity for us all to embrace a new, vibrant and forward looking identity and ethos which says that Belfast has come of age. We all know how unique the city and its people are and now we have a golden opportunity to take the message that this is Belfast's time, its moment and we want to share it with everyone. Be inspired."
The new Belfast logo will form the basis of a new on screen advertising campaign and can be seen across the city on advertising sites from today. It will be used on all Belfast City Council and Belfast Visitor & Convention Bureau promotional literature.
Other organisations will be urged to use the new city brand and details can be found at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/brand
It took 15 months of research and cost a whopping £430,000 — but Belfast’s new heart-shaped logo was created in just a few weeks after the former Lord Mayor rejected the original version. Council bosses had planned to launch a different logo from the heart-shaped ‘B’.