Rebranding the Cairo Citadel, the City of Contrast

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German University In Cairo - Cairo Citadel

The Cairo Citadel is the icon of Cairo, Egypt. It has different buildings from different eras and they’re all connected by a wall, which was built by Saladin in 1183 CE. It was stated by the UNESCO as the part of the world heritage site in Ismalic Cairo. The Cairo Citadel was a medieval Islamic fortification that protected Cairo against the crusader and it was the home for the rulers of Egypt for 700 years. Also it has remained the seat of Government during the rule of the Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans and the family of Mohamed Ali Pasha.

The aim of my thesis was to design and redefine the visual image of the Cairo Citadel, as to shed the light on the importance of the military citadel that is full of Heritage, after the whole world’s attention is now focused on the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be located next to the Giza Pyramids. Also my goal is to give it a modern identity that is simple, powerful and represents Cairo’s culture, as to enhance a person’s visit experience.

The rebranding of the Cairo Citadel aimed to reflect the idea of showing the contrast within the culture of Cairo in a simple way. As the Cairo Citadel is the small version of Cairo. The graphical language achieves the branding concept by designing a bilingual logo mark to fit all my target groups. The logo contains the icons, slogan and brand name and they’re all put together in a contrast style (stroke - filled - arabic in the opposite of english). In addition to the complementary colors: black and white and the red color that represents the Cairo Citadel's Massacre event by Mohamed Ali Pasha to get rid of the Mamluks in 1811. The brand colors aims to focus on contrast branding concept and the heritage of the place.

As the Cairo Citadel's main uasage in the past is now transformed into another concept, by it's local citizens. It is beyond the protection concept, as it turned from a military and defensive place into a place fulll of outings, picnics and different events. So the concept of the city of contrast is inspired from the contrast existing inside the Citadel and outside it (Cairo).

The Cairo Citadel is a huge and mysterious place, it's the icon of Cairo. So I need to focus on the related designs in Cairo that has the same usage of the citadel and compare their designs, as to rebrand such a historical place. 

The explored sites were: religious sites ( islamic, jewish, christianity designs), Local design (tent makers), Citadel’s atmospher (city of dead, green areas, urban areas).

Then I analyzed that designs in Cairo are not similar, they have different styles & designs; they are contrast. Even the Cairo Citadel has a different concept nowadays than before. People use and see things differently throughout the years. And I believe that difference is beauty.

So going into the design process, I will focus on the aspects of contrast & balance. As to stay away from any visual signs that would make the identity style not unique. To convey the aspect of contrast in the brand, each two contrasting elements need to pair together. And this pairing will provide a nice balance and interest to the brand.

The contrast in everywhere within the Citadel, it's the city of contrast.

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Design Agency Name: German University In Cairo
Organisation/Project Type: Student, Published Commercial Design
Article Title: Rebranding the Cairo Citadel, the City of Contrast
Brand / Project Name: Rebranding the Cairo Citadel, the City of Contrast
Project Type: Corporate Brand Creation, Corporate Brand Redesign
Strategic Deliverables: Corporate Research / Insight, Corporate Brand Strategy, Corporate Brand Naming, Corporate Tone of Voice
Design Deliverables: Corporate Branding, Corporate Rebranding, Corporate Brand Identity, Corporate Brand Identity System, Corporate Brand Guidelines, Corporate Brand Experience, Corporate Graphic Design, Corporate Brand Advertising
Service Brand Deliverables: Clothing/Uniforms, Digital Ad Campaign, Digital Advertising, Digital Website, Packaging Logistics, Packaging Service, Photography, Print Ad Campaign, Print Advertising, Print Brochure, Signage Exterior, Signage Interior, Transportation
Location: Egypt
Market Country: Egypt
Market Region: Africa
Industry Category: Entertainment, Food/Beverage, Information, Transport