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"Single-minded, compelling, and unique": visual communications, landscape, and the calculated aesthetic of place branding

Porter, Nicole

Authors

Nicole Porter Nicole.porter@nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Place branding strategies play a significant role in the professional composition of landscape imagery, including the depiction of “natural” landscapes. In this paper, Brand Blue Mountains, a brand currently implemented in the Blue Mountains region (Australia), is discursively analyzed. The brand sets out an all-encompassing “Vision” defining the identity, values and personality of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains landscape, summarized in the tagline Elevate Your Senses. This “vision” is visually translated into a strictly coordinated and copyrighted suite of logos, graphic design, color, fonts and various photographic styles. Analysis reveals that the degree of control that place brand strategists seek to exert over the visual expression of landscape identity is significant. A highly selective narrative of positive nature-based sensory experience is constructed through the holistic application of contemporary visual media. The brands' communications strategy naturalizes and reinforces a particular market-friendly version of place. The framework that brands set for the representation of landscapes overall amounts to an exercise in calculated aesthetics, whereby the form and content of landscape images of various kinds is measured to achieve the greatest market differentiation and impact which technologies allow. The result of this calculated aesthetic system, with its taglines, saturated color, careful composition and magazine-format brevity, is a reduction in the complexity of landscape representations and a perpetuation of nature stereotypes.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 16, 2013
Journal Environmental Communication
Print ISSN 1752-4032
Electronic ISSN 1752-4032
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 2
Institution Citation Porter, N. (2013). "Single-minded, compelling, and unique": visual communications, landscape, and the calculated aesthetic of place branding. Environmental Communication, 7(2), doi:10.1080/17524032.2013.779291
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2013.779291
Keywords Place branding, Graphics, Photographic strategy, Landscape, Blue Mountains
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17524032.2013.779291#.UhTqldxwZFo
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in: Porter, N., "Single-minded, compelling, and unique": visual communications, landscape, and the calculated aesthetic of place branding, as published in Environmental Communication, 7(2), 231-254 (2013), copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline....80/17524032.2013.779291

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf




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