Diversity as a strength in Lillestrøm municipality
Lillestrøm municipality was not very popular.
The former municipalities of Fet, Sørum and Skedsmo had voted against a merger, but were overruled by the Norwegian parliament. Many stakeholders continued to fight against the new coalition right up until the transition date of 1 January 2020.
The merger was mocked by reader comments to newspaper sites, social media and even spawned a viral competition to design a new municipal coat of arms. For many, their identity and pride were bound up with the old municipalties, and they remained hostile to change.
Almost 10% of Lillestrøms citizens work in the municipality. These were the project’s most important stakeholders, representing users and potential ambassadors.
Through a broad design process engaging many different users, we understood that the best way we could add emotional value visually, was to embrace the different origins. We wanted to make visible some of the history that lay in the old municipal identities and bring forward what is latent in the new one. Not to eradicate the past, but to embrace it and use this pluralism creatively.
Solution: Diversity as a strength
The municipality of Lillestrøm is diverse, and that diversity is its strength.
The most important drivers of the identity are complex forms and compound shapes.
The inspiration behind the new identity is drawn from the ancient marks from old timber floats, a symbol for the very earliest human settlements in the area. Then we have added other forms taken from the new municipality. Old and new. From town and country. Traditional and modern.
Organic and mechanistic.
The shapes are divided in two, and re-connected to form new constellations. Lillestrøm thus embraces what Fet, Sørum and Skedsmo are together. This gives a visual language with a lot of storytelling power and a strong, distinctive character.
Interviews showed us that it is important to people in the area that their identity is not simply as a suburb of Oslo, but as a distinct area, which they have pride in. Therefore, we have also worked with the linguistic identity and used local dialect deliberately in communication where possible.
The new visual identity has created strong internal pride and the underlying strategy has become a defining tool in the communication between the municipality and its citizens.
- Creative Directors Karen Fonk (lead designer)
- Art Directors –
- Designers Karen Fonk, Marthe Figenschou, Julia Kuhley, Jørgen Maristuen, Thomas Bull, Graham Mansfield
- Illustrators –
- Photographers Simen Øvergaard
- Editors –
- Copywriters –
- Service Designer Kia Aulie
- Customer working group /internal advisors Heidi Lippestad, Anne Cathrine Arnesen, Christian Wangberg, Leiv-Rune Gully, Sarah Keller
- Erik Jansson Customer manager