Creating the Tartu 2024 Brand Book

On the project screen on the wall, Tartu 2024 logo is displayed as well as the Estonian language description of one of Tartu 2024's core values - sustainability.

The Challenges:

The Tartu 2024 CVI, created with minimal complexity while bidding for the title in 2018, needed a major update to match the full requirements of the implemented European Capital of Culture programme, communication, and marketing.
The brand characteristics of Tartu 2024, marked down in a number of applications and development documents, needed coherent analysis and rewriting.

The Solution

I was the creative writer and editor of the Tartu 2024 Brand Book which in early 2022 updated the driving narratives as well as the visual identity of the European Capital of Culture. Based on existing and new knowledge gained in the process I put down the narratives for Tartu 2024 logos, symbols, and patterns, as well as the brand personality and values.

The project involved a key partner from the outside – NOPE Creative – who carried out workshops to gain additional insights for the designers and for the writer. They also did all the graphical design, and refined it based on the decisions and feedback given in different stages by the whole Tartu 2024 Foundation team.

In addition to writing and editing texts that describe the brand, I was also mediating between all the stakeholders, opinions, and expectations. It was a demanding project and also a shifting experience personally as it was one of the factors that made me switch careers and start studying UX/UI design.

The Outcome

The visuals from the new Brand Book are visible on the local, regional, and national level already now, and will be omnipresent in 2024. The Brand Book has continued to evolve as now a full-scale creative team is using and refining it every day as a tool.

Photo of the Riia street in Tartu, made from the bus stop on the old town side of the street, looking at the building of hotel Pallas with a Tartu 2024 banner on top of it.
Tartu 2024 will really be a top Estonian thing in 2024!

How well the defined values, tone of character, and other brand narratives make it out in the real world, is yet too early to tell, as most of the storytelling and audience engagement is still ahead.

I am a big fan of Tartu and Southern Estonia as the European Capital of Culture and I am very proud that my creative efforts are hopefully supporting all these branded Tartu 2024 events, and activities that take place now and in the coming months.