Wednesday 22 November 2017

'Flying rodent' seagulls rejected for Dublin's new city logo


A seagull scavenges in St Stephen's Green
A seagull scavenges in St Stephen's Green

THE firm behind the new Dublin logo have revealed they ditched seagulls from the city's new branding during the design phase because "they're not everyone's favourite".

The rejection of the birds - in favour of the more popular swifts - comes as gulls continue to be maligned, after a Fianna Fail senator claiming the birds had "lost the run of themselves".

Senator Ned O'Sullivan found himself at the centre of a storm of gull-humour in July last year when he called on the Government to do something about them.

Oscar-winning designer Annie Atkins and her colleague Eoghan Nolan revealed the work behind the scenes for the new logo, which hopes to re-market Dublin as something other than a 'party city'.

"We had started with the seagulls, but of course they're not everyone's favourite - they're at the 'flying rodents', pigeon end of the scale," Mr Nolan said in the blog post published on design firm Think and Son's website.

The new logo for a Dublin tourist campaign
The new logo for a Dublin tourist campaign


"We quickly went from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull to Jonathan Swift," he added.

An early sketch, also published on the blog by the pair, shows two seagulls in the original design. However, the finished product shows two swifts printed alongside the slogan 'Dublin: A breath of fresh air'.

The decision to leave seagulls out of the finished project is likely to encourage a revisit to some of the most bizarre commentary on the gulls.

Senator O'Sullivan had described them as "very raucous".

"They are keeping people awake. They are getting so cheeky now they are attacking young children," he said.

He admitted that, while he has no problem with pigeons, he is "very against" seagulls.

"It might be funny to many people, but it's a serious issue in the city," he said.

"They're not seagulls, they really are vermin. Scavenger gulls. Dump gulls."

Ms Atkins said it was fun to work on a campaign for a city that she knows well, but where she also has an outsider's perspective.

Ms Atkins won her Oscar for her work on Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. Her colleague, though, is a Dub "through and through", she wrote.

The €1m Failte Ireland campaign is running in both Dublin and London at the moment in a bid to encourage more visitors to the city.

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