What about ye?

Welcome to the Belfast brand website. This site will grow and develop as the brand identity rolls out but for the minute, here’s some info on the basics (just in case you’ve heard something different :-)

What is the Belfast Brand?

The Belfast brand is a state of mind. You know that song, ‘I’m in a New York state of mind’ well it’s a bit like that, only with fewer skyscrapers. And no yellow cabs. And not so much with the hot dogs. In fact, it’s nothing like New York and that’s the whole point. We’re Belfast.


We’re unique and we’re special. We’re a city of doers and dreamers, a mix of tough and tender, gritty and glamorous. For too long we’ve been held back but now we’re ready to surge forward, to relish change, be positive and reach outward.


Of course we’re not perfect (nowhere is) but in Belfast today there’s a real sense of confidence, ambition and above all energy that’s driving us on. We’re ready for visitors, for investment, for students, for new citizens, for fresh challenges. We’re ready to tell our story to the world and crucially, to each other. There’s so much more that unites us than divides us. So, let’s make great things happen.

Expressing Ourselves
To help us all find a way of communicating this state of mind, we’ve created the Belfast brand identity. So we have.

Of course, it’s a bit tricky to capture the essence of an entire city (and all 338,907 of us in it) but we’ve distilled some core qualities into a set of values that feel about right. On the whole, we’re Ambitious, Unpretentious, Imaginative and have a fair dollop of Self-belief. We want what’s best for Belfast and are positive about the future because we have the confidence of knowing that if we dream it, we can do it. We imagined a city at peace and a place that the world would want to visit and we made those things happen. Our determination to build a better future has led us to our conviction that we can achieve whatever we wish for. Because we work hard, we think deep, we dream, we create, we innovate, we’re true to ourselves and our enthusiasm is real, not forced. We also enjoy a bit of craic, know how to have a good time and are driven by boundless energy. What’s not to love?

Our Identity
It’s how we behave that will reflect this confident personality and It’s how we look and sound that will communicate it to the world.

The Belfast brand identity is our tool for projecting the positive, distinguishing associations that will capture the world’s imagination, attracting visitors, students, investment, talent, jobs and ultimately, prosperity. It’s also something that we can use locally to instil pride, give us a sense of who we are and help us to unite across all parts of the city and all walks of life. We all make Belfast what it is so, ultimately, this identity is for us.

LIVING THE BRAND

The brand identity guidelines document goes into more detail about the values and behaviours that underpin our city brand and where you’ll find separate propositions for the tourism, business and education sectors.

If you’re thinking, “I don’t need to be told how to live my own city brand!” then great – just be yourself and you’ll be fine. Feisty, that’s us.

But even so, it’s always handy to read the words, get a feel for the attitude and check out a few examples of how other people have used the brand to drive their ideas forward and energise our city.

COMMUNICATING THE BRAND

When it comes to communicating our energetic attitude and reflecting the diversity of our city, we need to be versatile and adaptable yet also consistently recognisable. In branding terms, this is called being ‘dynamic’. In the real world, it’s more like common sense. It’s just impossible to do justice to the scope, depth and richness of our city with a very simple brand identity. So, what we’ve created is a comprehensive and highly flexible identity system, made up of six very simple elements. You’ll soon see these popping up across the city, in all sorts of combinations. We are a richly diverse city and so’s our brand identity.

Brandmark / Colour / Typography / Tone of Voice / Imagery / Graphic language

Belfast Brand
Before we go – just a few words on the icon at the heart of the Belfast brand identity; Starburst.

Starburst is a shape; a spirited shape that takes its inspiration from a satellite view of Belfast, complete with arms radiating out to North, South, East and West, with the dramatic indent where the Lough flows in to meet the historical heart of the city. This unique shape will be used as a container into which we will pour all of Belfast’s rich diversity and in so doing, it will become a symbol of our city’s energy, renewed sense of entrepreneurial opportunity and bold, contemporary vibe.