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Luka Života (Eng. Port of Life) is a non-profit project developed as an alternative city brand for Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Brand itself has a mission to communicate and point out all the positive aspects of life in Banja Luka, as well as inspirational and interesting stories of its citizens. With its long history, cultural heritage and geographical location, the whole city area brings authentic “vibe”, distinctly familiar to everyone who ever visited or lived in Banja Luka. As a university and cultural centre of the region, the city offers numerous of different events like: five music festivals, wine and food festival, motorcycle rally, seminars, conferences, etc. Located on the Vrbas River, the city has a great potential for a white-water canoeing, kayaking and rafting, which also attracts visitors and tourists from all over the world. With the mountain river flowing through downtown and plenty of green areas, Banja Luka wears the epithet of a "green city" and is often described as a pleasant place to live, for the younger generation and for the elderly.
Main task given with the brief for this project was to create recognizable brand identity and distinctive visual language which will easily transfer tone of communication and help people to identify with new city brand. Also, demand for identity design was to reflect in a certain way some of the commonly known symbols of Banja Luka and to incorporate some landmarks of the city.First step in the process of shaping the new brand was to come up with a new, touching and associative name. Goal was to give a name that was developed from the city name, so some sort of wordplay has been used (the name “Luka Života” translated into English literally means: The Port of Life). Besides the name, a tagline is also incorporated in brand identity which additionally points affiliation and affection that this project shares with this city and especially its citizens. With the name and tagline (“There is my anchor”), the entire identity illustrates a message which this brand tries to communicate: Banja Luka is a city of people, youth and families where they all love to live and where everyone is happy to return.
As a result, we created a cheerful visual identity presented by illustrative logo which is consisted of stylized symbols of the city of Banja Luka. The logo was shaped in two colours, red and blue, which are, at the same time, official colours of the city. Also, the name and tagline embedded beneath the sign are typed in two typefaces, sans serif and script, which were used both on branded materials and in digital content. Since the project was launched in 2017, it has achieved great reactions from people of Banja Luka, especially among the younger generation. Most of interactions were realized through social media platforms where “Luka Zivota” gained a few thousands of fans and followers in a short period of time. People responded very positively to the content and also participated by giving their feedback and sharing positive and inspirational city stories.