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City Flags Redesign


pianoknight

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I posted a thread in the General Design forum about bad flag design and a wonderful TED talk on the subject.  Speaker Roman Mars encouraged listeners to not accept their bland, terrible city flags and in a digital sense, I've taken that message to heart.  I thought I would spin up a thread in the Concepts forum for a proper place to post city flag concepts and updates.  I don't intend to monopolize this thread with solely my own designs, so please feel free to contribute and add any other city flags that you may have reworked, recolored, retouched, or otherwise made better for the sake of good design.

 

I'd like to restrict this to city, county and/or local municipality flags, please.  I know that levels of government aren't quite the same in other nations (besides the US/CAN demographic of 99% of this site), so please use your best judgement.  State/Province flags get a lot of concept love, so I don't think we need to see ANOTHER reworking of Mississippi, etc.  Same goes for national flags because as Mars calls out in his talk most country-level flags have fantastic design simply because the stakes are too high on an international level.

 

So let's see what CCSLC'ers have come up with!

 

 

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I'll start with Omaha, my hometown. 

 

The city flag isn't as terrible as some, but the wagon is simply way too detailed and muddled.  Also, the white seems a bit superfluous to me, as it's mostly there as part of the wagon element and then sort of obligatorily keylined around the red circle.

 

City_of_Omaha_flag.jpg

 

 

Here's my spin:

  • Cleaned up colors (hooray ancient GIFs)
  • Removed pioneer wagon as the image itself is representative of a windmill, and thus, the westward expansion.  Wagon is superfluous and fugly.
  • Removed white, it was too many colors and the balance was off
  • Thickened lines
  • Restructured the "fan blades" to have a slightly more modern feel to them.  A huge chunk of the Omaha economy is built on tech, finance and informational jobs, opposed to the stockyards and meat packing houses that the city was once founded on.  

 

i63K86J.png

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Next up, the capital of my adopted state, Oregon.  Salem has an atrocity for a flag, although the design itself is a bit clever with the negative space.

 

us-orslm.gif

 

 

Here's my spin:

 

  • The darker navy and green conjure imagery of the Pacific Northwest and should be used prominently on the flag.  In this case, as the field instead of as accents.
  • Specifically, Salem sits on the border of Marion and Polk Counties in Oregon, so I've balanced the two shades evenly to convey this natural split.
  • The gold returns, but as the focal point of the flag, a star.  This was done to eliminate white, particularly as a cardinal rule of heraldry (and somewhat in vexillology) is that yellow and white should NEVER touch each other.  The ten-sided star fits the new design better and is more aesthetically pleasing than the original five-sided one.
  • Obviously no need for the text.  I debated keeping the capitol silhouette, but decided against it since that building looks almost identical to dozens of other state and federal buildings around the country.  If you saw that picture alone, you'd never think "Ohhh... yeah, Salem."

 

vmYggty.png

 

 

---edit---

 

Reworked the color scheme for Salem to give a little more contrast with the blue and green.  The navy is not so bright and the green has been lightened a tone or two.

kjwnMTA.png

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download.jpg.48c47cd8fb8c3a99267bdeb1335toronto.jpg.2be1238b2a020b3384e635416f22download.png.2b4b776dd6b1972ce429293da12hamilton.jpg.67e983dcba2482e3221334f3bdbFlag_of_Guelph.svg.png.a9fddb587a6b47d27guelph.jpg.d5b9733e4ee8bdb7851c049843860

 

My first three concepts EVER! City flag ideas for Toronto, Hamilton, and Guelph, Ontario. Toronto keeps the two stripe T they are famour for, although it is straightened. The maple leaf is replaced by the three leaves from a proposed Canadian flag. 

 

Hamilton's new flag depicts the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge as it rises, creating an H. The six I-beams represent the six cities that amalgamated to form Hamilton. 

 

Guelph's flag has two Gryphons on a checkered field. Guelph is a university town, and their deep history and nickname "The Royal City" made the heraldry theme easy to choose. The city takes the university's nickname (Gryphons) colours (Red, Black, Gold) and checkerboard pattern. 

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Tampa Bay has one of the most cluttered flags I've ever seen.  It manages to somehow mash together all of the themed nautical flags outside your local Long John Silvers into a single, incoherent mess.  The original intent was to include inspirations from each country that helped found Tampa (noble concept) but TWO shades of yellow?!  Next to each other (terrible execution)?!  And a seal, as per the standard bad flag design manual.

 

1024px-flag_of_tampa_florida.png

 

 

My take:

 

  • Preserved the rich color scheme using all five of the original flag's colors (yellow #2 doesn't count).  The original flag is built strongly on the nations that had a hand in founding/building Tampa:
    • Spain
    • Britain
    • Italy
    • France
  • The checkerboard red/white field retains the nautical feel of the city as Tampa is very much coastal and the ocean plays a major role for the city.
  • The navy, green and yellow are reworked into a saltire, which still conjures the same "worldly" feel since saltires are often associated with British Empire nations/colonies.

 

 

 

6GBlWVL.png

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54 minutes ago, Canuckleball said:

download.jpg.48c47cd8fb8c3a99267bdeb1335

...

...

...

My first three concepts EVER! City flag ideas for Toronto, Hamilton, and Guelph, Ontario. Toronto keeps the two stripe T they are famour for, although it is straightened. The maple leaf is replaced by the three leaves from a proposed Canadian flag. 

 

Hamilton's new flag depicts the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge as it rises, creating an H. The six I-beams represent the six cities that amalgamated to form Hamilton. 

 

Guelph's flag has two Gryphons on a checkered field. Guelph is a university town, and their deep history and nickname "The Royal City" made the heraldry theme easy to choose. The city takes the university's nickname (Gryphons) colours (Red, Black, Gold) and checkerboard pattern. 

 

I'm not convinced the Toronto flag needed an update, actually. Same with Hamilton. Guelph, for sure, needed an update, though. I would make the Gryphons smaller to start. And maybe think about how to better utilize the checkerboard pattern. I admit to not knowing Guelph's history, but this comes off as rather German and/or Belgian.

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1 minute ago, jdp said:

 

I'm not convinced the Toronto flag needed an update, actually. Same with Hamilton. Guelph, for sure, needed an update, though. I would make the Gryphons smaller to start. And maybe think about how to better utilize the checkerboard pattern. I admit to not knowing Guelph's history, but this comes off as rather German and/or Belgian.

 

The Gryphons were actually a late addition, I initially had three gold crowns instead of them on the checkered field. May post that version later. 

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1 hour ago, jdp said:

 

I'm not convinced the Toronto flag needed an update, actually. Same with Hamilton. Guelph, for sure, needed an update, though. I would make the Gryphons smaller to start. And maybe think about how to better utilize the checkerboard pattern. I admit to not knowing Guelph's history, but this comes off as rather German and/or Belgian.

 

Agree about Guelph.  Toronto's flag feels very "80s Modern," but it's still clean and simple which is really job #1 when it comes to flag design.  Same goes for Hamilton.  I like the idea to incorporate the water, but the use of both black and gray might be a little "bleedy" since they are right next to each other.

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9 minutes ago, pianoknight said:

 

Agree about Guelph.  Toronto's flag feels very "80s Modern," but it's still clean and simple which is really job #1 when it comes to flag design.  Same goes for Hamilton.  I like the idea to incorporate the water, but the use of both black and gray might be a little "bleedy" since they are right next to each other.

Toronto's asymmetricallity bothered me. I think I'll update it later to only have one leaf and drop the top white bar. Basically just a tweak on the current flag to make it straight and centered. Hamilton will need a lot of work, I'll have to think on it. 

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4 minutes ago, JosiahWVU said:

Isn't much of a concept but.. Netherlands back in orange.

6dHqJCE.jpg

Don't mean to be a pest here but,

I'd like to restrict this to city, county and/or local municipality flags, please. Same goes for national flags because as Mars calls out in his talk most country-level flags have fantastic design simply because the stakes are too high on an international level.

Just wanted to point that out :P
 

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These are two concepts i think cold work for my Home Country, Australia.

 

flag1.png.7612d95d4432ba675071a2e9154b1e

 

The first one:

The blue on the bottom represents the water that surrounds all of Australia.

The yellow is for the sand that stretches most of the coat.

The green is for the lands and trees.

The top blue is for the clear skies.

The star in the middle is the Commonwealth star.

 

The Second one:

The bottom yellow represents the beautiful beaches

The green is for our lands

The top yellow is to represent the sun that beat down on us

 

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Why does this not surprise me? 

800px-Flag_of_Ferguson%2C_Missouri.png

 

Missouri has some great ones like STL:

800px-Flag_of_St._Louis%2C_Missouri.svg.

 

 

And then Kansas City could be amazing if they just scrubbed off the words.  The "heart-fountain" thing is a big gimmicky, but I do love the nod to water as KC reportedly has the second-most fountains in the world after Rome.

700px-Flag_of_Kansas_City%2C_Missouri.sv

 

 

 

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Gainesville!  In the other thread, someone mentioned that Gainesville, Florida's flag is essentially just their city seal on a white field.  I posted the "wavy motion" one because the rest are tiny/terrible GIFs.

 

gaineville-florida-flag-e1435580102554.j

 

Concept version:

  • Kept the color scheme, but flipped the train to face "forward."  On the current flag it's facing the flag pole which feels backward.
  • Updated train silhouette to simplify the overall design.
  • Kept the "stripes" pattern beneath the train, but again, focused on simplification.  This should be drawable by a child in a one-by-two inch box.

UjqmF5C.png

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