Language is the foundation of every kind of identity, while the visual identity of Rijeka is a language in and of itself.
On Friday 20 March, the visual identity of Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture was presented in the ˝Mali salon˝ gallery in Rijeka. Instead of a fixed visual form, Rijeka’s candidacy for European Capital of Culture will be represented by an identity-based system of visual elements that are mutable and adaptable to every situation, i.e. collaborative project. The work of the authors Oleg Šuran and Jelena Perišić reflects the dynamic nature and openness of Rijeka’s cultural scene in an unobtrusive, yet effective manner, representing its many participants – from independent associations and institutions to universities and individuals – with a circle, triangle and square and through the primary colours of blue, yellow and red.
Ivan Šarar, the head of the Department of Culture of the City of Rijeka has stated that this is ˝quite a bold choice on the part of the authors and the evaluation committee. The solution that has been selected will probably meet with a lot of opposition˝, said Šarar and added that Rijeka, when it comes to its visual identity, cannot be reduced to simple visual solutions, and that thus the solution selected, though it does not represent a typical symbol nor a typical identity, still brilliantly depicts Rijeka’s pluralism. ˝This solution has the potential to develop and be applied throughout a longer period of time. Regardless of the result of the candidacy, as we have also stated in our application, this visual code will represent culture in Rijeka during the following period˝, said Šarar.
Oleg Šuran stated how this work represents an open system that presupposes the engagement of all participants of the community – both of Rijeka and the entire community – with the possibility of its adaptation to the wide array of activities and participants involved in the ECoC 2020 project. By offering an identity-based system instead of a fixed visual form, this solution offers the concept of a generative identity that will dynamically grow together with the project without losing its primary visual and communication value. The visual elements depict systems – thus the circle represents cultural institutions, associations and individuals, the triangle represents industry and business subjects, while the full wavy line represents flow, primarily in a financial sense, and the dotted line represents cooperation.
The visual identity of the City of Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture for 2020 will play an important and active role in communication during the preparation for ECoC and, if Rijeka is to become the capital of culture, also in the international promotion of Rijeka as the ECoC.
In total, 24 works were submitted in response to the open Competition for the Design of the Visual Identity of Rijeka as European Capital of Culture for 2020. At a meeting held on 29 January 2015, the evaluation panel of the Competition comprising Damir Gamulin, Jelena Fiškuš, Feđa Vukić, Plamena Šarlija and Idis Turato (Panel president) selected 3 works to enter the final round, and the authors of the selected works were requested to elaborate on their solutions.
At the second meeting held on 17 February 2015, the Panel members reviewed the elaborated solutions and unanimously voted on the awards:
The 1st prize was awarded to the work under code 024
Authors: Oleg Šuran and Jelena Perišić
Concept name: 26.1.
The 2nd prize was awarded to the work under code 023
Authors: Niko Crnčević, Antonio Karača, Nenad Malić and Eva Pavić
Concept name: Space of Transformation
The 3rd prize was awarded to the work under code 017
Authors: Maša Milovac, Jan Pavlović
Concept name: Cultural Terminal