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Cast your vote for the Cambridge Greenways logo

By Mike Scialom

Greenways logo CRC college student designers
Greenways logo CRC college student designers

The £10million Greenways project needs a logo – so 52 CRC students came up with one. Now the public gets to vote on the winner.

Which of these six logos for the 12 upcoming Greenways schemes would you like to see when you use the routes which link cyclists, walkers and horse riders to the villages and towns around Cambridge?

The project – which has a budget of £10million – is due to get under way in the new year. The first stage is planning the definitive route: construction is expected to begin in 2020. Along the route there will be logos, and which logo will be used will be selected by the public, which means you get to cast a vote.

The logo designs for the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s flagship project to get people out of their cars and exploring – and commuting through – the region’s wonderful landscapes were created by 52 visual communications students from Cambridge Regional College (CRC) in the autumn. The result will mean that walkers, cyclists and riders will be able to experience the wildlife and land around the city as they move easily along paths and routes which join up the surrounding area. It really is a fantastic project, and the Cambridge Independent is proud to have been part of the logo selection process.

The shortlist of six was selected last week at a judging session in Shire Hall. The four judges were Cllr Noel Kavanagh (county cycling champion and Joint Assembly), Francis Burkitt (GCP Executive Board chair), Susan Rooke (Greenways senior project officer) and this reporter. Project manager Simon Manville was on hand to help answer questions.

Greenways routes
Greenways routes

The first thing the judges did was to study all the design concepts by the 52 visual communications students: all the submissions were displayed on the walls of Room 128 at Shire Hall. The standard of work was really high, with many clearly inspired by the ‘nature’ theme.

However, the brief was very clear – Greenways is for cyclists, walkers and horse riders, so any logo which just depicted a bicycle had to be eliminated. Some of the logos were delicate and elaborate, which might be difficult to reproduce on a metal sign which has to last for years in all weathers out in the countryside.

Gradually, the work by the 52 creatives from the King’s Hedges Road-based college was reduced to 20. It was a difficult process, helped along by the students being there and talking through the origins and development of their themes.

The judges then went into a side room to pick the final six. This process took quite a while, and came down to fine differences. If possible the logo should suggest movement, because it’s not just about the trees and the wildlife habitats – the logos are signposts for path users too.

2. This logo design consists of an arrow with leaves branching out of it. Similarly to my first design I chose this logo because it shows the natural element of the Greenways as well as the travel/direction purposes. I have chosen more simplistic designs as I feel they will be more identifiable as a pathfinder.

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2. This logo design consists of an arrow with leaves branching out of it. Similarly to my first design I chose this logo because it shows the natural element of the Greenways as well as the travel/direction purposes. I have chosen more simplistic designs as I feel they will be more identifiable as a pathfinder. 3. This design is simple as I incorporated two leaves that show a pathway in between. The colour scheme was more a gradient of light standard green and racing green. 4. This design incorporates a path and a tree. The design is simple and represents a pathway/the idea of transportation. The logo altogether could even be seen as walking through a sheltered woodland as well as looking like a tree or a path. This adds a certain complexity to the design as well as it looking simple on first viewing. 5. My original idea for this logo was to create a simple but bold design based around the initials of Cambridge Greenways. When experimenting with how the letters fit together, I decided on this very graphic design with an arrow in the centre of the ‘G’ to suggest movement and travel, using directly travel-based imagery. 6. For this design I used a circle as I thought it allowed the vein pattern to be emphasised more and emphasises the idea of connecting through the network. The design is adaptable and available in many colour combinations. The circle is a natural shape and is easy to spot and understand. 1. This design features a very simplistic symbol of a tree to represent the aspect of nature that the client wants to be present in the logo. It was important to make the tree simple because it needs to be easy to replicate and easy to recognise from a distance as it is a way finding tool. In the trunk of the tree I also included an arrow to represent the aspect of travel and movement that was wanted. I made the lines very thick in this logo as it would make it stand out more and make it easier to transfer it into a negative.

Eventually, by a process of elimination, the six designs you see on the right were selected, with an extra “wild card” picked by GCP chair Francis Burkitt in case one of the six has (unforseen) legal or other issues which require it to be replaced.

Abner Fraser, head of the visual communications department at Cambridge Regional College, said: “This has been an amazing opportunity for our students to gain invaluable experience working with a big client on an exciting project.

“The students were motivated by the prospect of having their work displayed across Greater Cambridge and I would like to thank the GCP for this fantastic opportunity which has given the students a great platform that will boost their future prospects.”

Cllr Burkitt said: “It was a very difficult selection process due to the volume of great ideas but we feel that the six we have shortlisted would be a great representation of the Greenways.”

So what do you think? Every vote counts, and entries have to be submitted by 4pm, Sunday, January 7, 2018.


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