Tourism Hamilton’s New Brand – It’s In Our Character

Brand Identity / Application | Tourism Hamilton, City of Hamilton

In late 2017, Tourism Hamilton launched a new brand to better align its visual identity with Hamilton’s exciting renewal. In collaboration with Hamilton-based creative agency, Cinnamon Toast, Tourism Hamilton has been applying its new brand to collateral throughout 2018, including digital and print pieces as well as branded retail items. These applications support the strategic shift in Tourism Hamilton’s narrative and the redevelopment of its website.

  • Tourism Hamilton’s new logo celebrates the city’s contrasts –– one half natural and organic and the other half
    urban and structural. The brand’s colour palettes parallel the notion of contrast with vibrant colours on one side and neutral on the other. The accompanying three distinct and vibrant colour palettes allow for flexibility and playfulness.
  • The tagline “It’s in our Character” refers to Hamilton’s tenacity, pride, unstoppable ambition; its diversity and
    welcoming, non-judgemental spirit; and the city’s unapologetic grit. Also as a city of diverse contrasts, Hamilton can be described as classically beautiful as well as gritty. This collision of beauty and grit is a big part of the city’s unique and unapologetic character. Tourism Hamilton’s tagline is an acknowledgement and celebration of these unique contrasts.
  • The voice of Tourism Hamilton’s new brand is informative, warm and lively. The language used is playful, but
    without erring on the side of brash or unprofessional.
  • The combination of Tourism Hamilton’s new logo, tagline and voice convey a city that is unpretentious,
    unapologetically gritty and offers unexpected beauty and bold contrasts.

The new brand aims to capture what sets Hamilton apart and establishes the city as a unique and appealing destination. It also aims to help overcome lingering negative perceptions of the city. The new brand communicates a modern, visually striking look and feel to prospective visitors that is both attention-grabbing and connects emotionally. The new brand supports marketing and sales efforts to increase visitation and economic spending in the city.

Effectiveness / Meeting Objectives

  • Tourism Hamilton has been inspiring new visibility in the marketplace to attract visitor/customer interest with
    widespread application and promotion of its new brand. The new brand has been applied prominently on the
    Tourism Hamilton website, our social media, sales collateral, bid documents, and attention-grabbing city-wide
    signage including: McMaster University, FirstOntario Centre, Hamilton Farmers’ Market, The Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s, Tim Hortons Field, The Sheraton Hotel walkway and our own Visitor Centre.
  • Tourism Hamilton’s new brand is shifting perceptions about Hamilton and conveying the city’s wide appeal as
    both an urban and outdoor destination – celebrating its many contrasts. In addition to shifting our customers’ view of the city, the new brand is also re-invigorating our own self-perception and identity (among staff and local stakeholders). It’s offered us a stronger, more appealing visual identity to rally around, strengthening our own role as ambassadors for the city.

Challenges & Changes Made
Improvements have been incrementally made to the brand style guide (attached) since its release to simplify and
streamline application of a complex and multifaceted visual brand. Users also noted an absence of content or language direction, which was also subsequently added. Tourism Hamilton has consistently and strategically communicated new brand with stakeholders, following up regularly to encourage and ensure presentation of updated logo and messaging.

Target Audience
The logo, tagline and voice of Tourism Hamilton is designed to appeal to Meeting & Convention, Sport tourism and
Leisure visitors >45 km from Hamilton ON.

1. Abstract 2. Style Guide 3. Sport Tourism banner 4. Newly Branded Products 5. Signage on exterior Hamilton Convention Centre wall

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