Akwa Ibom: Logo Competition Organised For The Ministry Of Culture And Tourism Called 'Tourism Brand Identity Competition'

You all know that I'm passionate about everything tourism and culture especially as relating to my state? Good. I'm passionate about everything Akwa Ibom. A few weeks ago, a friend told me about the logo competition organised for the Ministry of culture and Tourism called 'Tourism Brand Identity competition' and I was actually waiting to see the logo that will win. Saturday night, I was tagged to Logo number 1 as the winning logo. Now, I'm going to interpret these two logo designs honestly and also ask for your personal opinion.

Logo 1. I see feathers and I see a mask. My very first reaction to it was, 'these colours are too intense and everywhere and what's with the feathers and mask?' this logo conjures an idea of a carnival and party especially with the mask. This is best suited for a one time event or a place with a tradition of carnivals and parties. I can honestly give this logo as a gift to my sister state, Cross River, following their history with carnivals. This does not in any way represent or brand Akwa Ibom, especially the one I know. It tells nothing. And the interpretation of the logo by the designer was disappointing. I'll put it up below. On another comment about it, I told my friend it is like we are preparing for a carribean festival or something.

Logo 2. I've seen all other logo submissions and this best captures everything culture, art and tourism in the state. This logo displays effectively the unity symbol (the shared commonality and history we share) and the landmark (Ibom plaza unity circus) we have come to embrace in the state. The palm trees speak to our fertility; our agricultural and beautiful vegetation, it further gives off the 'beach' relaxation vibes in the state. This logo also depicts the rich nature-filled abundance of the state e.g. the birds and the sun rising or setting. We have the finest confluence and assemblage of birds season in, season out. This logo tells me everything I need to know about the state, and even if I was a stranger or visitor, I'll relate with this easily. Art, history, culture, heritage, nature, beauty is represented here.

I am disappointed that logo 1 was already approved. I'll put up the three winning logos and also other below. We have sons and daughters who can do better but we overlook them for strangers. I apologise if I will be sounding partial here, but it hurts me that the designs made by akwa-ibomites were overlooked. Is this the best we can do? Out of the first three winning logos, two were done by indigenes of other states. No one knows the state like the owner.

No, it's not just a 'logo' or something inconsequential as I've seen a few people say. The attention we pay to little things reflect our overall performance with the bigger things. This is the face of a ministry, we might as well apply excellence to it.

P.s. If you wanted to use a mask, what happens to our ekpo masks? Itu alone has a rich heritage of any and all kinds of mask, but we had to travel far to pick a pseudo Halloween mask from a shutterstock photo online? Tssk. No 1 logo at best represents nothing in any part of Nigeria. You don't brand a place a destination centre if you don't even know what makes the place worth visiting.

I am not disappointed at the designer. The young man did his work. But I'm disappointed at the panel who adjudged and oversaw this as the 'very tourism branding identity' of the state. The joke is on us. Even if no submission was impressive, cancel and call for more or call for a redesign till you get something Excellent and engaging. Branding isn't a joke. I refuse to close my eyes to such basic underrepresentation and carelessness. Why not even gather all our amazing designers and artists and lock them up in a room for a week until they produce something worthy of us.

Now dear friends, I need your help and I will ask for your very artistic, creative and honest opinion about these two logos.

On behalf of the sunshine & phenomenal people of Itu LGA, extending my representation for the blissful people of Obot Akara where my love springs from and further extending it to the fine & welcoming people of Eket where my heart lies and going further down to the romantic people of Oron.

Written By Enwongo C. Cleopas
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