It is literally impossible not to see this logo. It is on every bus, tram, and billboard in Warsaw.
Have you ever given it a second look? What’s the story behind it?
Here are 5 things you may not know about the promotional logo and sponsor of the city of Warsaw.
1) It’s the official logo of the city of Warsaw
The logo is one of the official symbols of Warsaw, just like the flag and the coat of arms.
Warsaw’s identity is rooted in its dreadful history. But Warsaw has so much more to offer than just painful past, doesn’t it?
The “promotional” logo of Warsaw was designed to promote the other side of Warsaw and therefore it had to be simple, welcoming and cheerful.
Here is how Stefan Starzyński imagined the Warsaw of the future:
„Warsaw of the future is modern, beautiful, green, friendly to inhabitants, deep-rooted in Polish tradition, very well prepared for the function of the capital city of the Republic of Poland, located in the heart of Europe”.
Stefan Starzyński, mayor of Warsaw from years 1934-1939
2) The “Fall in Love with Warsaw” slogan was the result of an open competition
In 2006 the city of Warsaw announced an open competition for choosing its promotional slogan.
There were 1197 proposals. These were the top 10:
Warsaw is moving (Warszawa rusza)
City in Your rhythm (Miasto w Twoim rytmie)
Warsaw – you must experience it (Warszawa – musisz to przeżyć)
Warsaw – this city is waking people up! (Warszawa – to miasto budzi ludzi!)
Warsaw – the city worth the West (Warszawa – miasto warte zachodu)
Warsaw – old town, new world (Warszawa – stare miasto, nowy świat)
Warsaw – you are always in the centre (Warszawa – zawsze jesteś w centrum)
Warsaw. They live here really (Warszawa. Tu się żyje naprawdę)
Fall in love in Warsaw (Zakochaj się w Warszawie)
I’m quite happy, “Fall in love with Warsaw” won! None of the other slogans really work in English.
3) “Zakochaj się w Warszawie” has two different meanings in Polish
Zakochaj się w Warszawie (Fall in love with Warsaw), can be understood in two ways: “fall in love with Warsaw” or “fall in love with somebody you’ll meet in Warsaw”.
The double meaning got lost in translation from Polish to English.
4) The logo refers to the tradition of the Polish School of Poster
The colorful Mermaid is drawn in just a few lines as in the style of the Polish School of Posters during its golden age (50s and 60s).
5) The Logo depicts the Warsaw Mermaid like never before
The Mermaid symbol, which also appears in the Warsaw’s coat of arms, has been the symbol of Warsaw for centuries. In the early days, it was presented as an animal with a bird’s legs and a torso covered with dragon scales.
The symbol later evolved into the popular mermaid with sword and shield, but it never lost its belligerent nature, until now. The design of the promotional logo depicts the mermaid in a more colourful, cheerful and welcoming way. The mermaid almost looks like a dancer, rather than a warrior.
The colours used are red and yellow, the official colours of Warsaw. The tail of the mermaid is blue and it symbolizes the Vistula river.
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