La Cité du Vin, a world of cultures

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With just a few months to go until it opens to the public in June 2016, La Cité du Vin has unveiled its new identity. It was more than a change of name that was revealed at the evening organised on 26 October at Bordeaux City Hall for financial backers, patrons, partners and all those who have been close to the project since 2009: an eye-catching signature, a logo and the graphic design to go with the new name.

The keys to the new identity of La Cité du Vin:

• a graphic design that evokes the architecture of the building: made up of curves and arabesques, arcs and spines in reference to the architectural skeleton of the building and also to rows of vines

• a more symbolic graphic element: the circle, like the body and flesh of the building itself, and also evoking the planet (in all its universality), the sun (essential for vines, grapes and wine), the beam of a lighthouse (a place than can enlighten the public about wine culture(s) and reveal them to the world), and the grape…

• a brand name that says what it is: La Cité du Vin, neither a museum, nor a winery, nor even a theme park, but a living place for exchanges with a strong cultural (La Cité) and thematic (Vin) connotation.

• a baseline that reinforces its positioning: a world (of wine, but also the planet as a whole) of culture (in all the diverse forms of expression and cultural representations that will be present in La Cité du Vin).

A story in the writing: from Cité des civilisations du vin to La Cité du Vin

Just like the building itself which is taking shape and will soon be ready to welcome the public, the project launched back in 2009 is now entering a new phase, the pre-opening phase, the objectives of which are to promote and market the facility to the public in France (locally and nationally) and around the world.

In preparation for this key moment in the positioning of the facility, work was launched in January 2015 to reflect on the brand name in order to identify (and correct, if necessary) any terms that might put potential visitors off.

Since 2012, the name Cité des Civilisations du Vin has positioned the facility not as a museum, but as a living inter-disciplinary space that is open to all (Cité), while also introducing a cultural and universal dimension (civilisations) and the theme of wine (vin). The graphic element in the logo, a line drawing the outline of the building’s architecture, expressed the reality of what was, at least until the first stone was laid, nothing more than a project.

Market studies were conducted in 2015 to assess the fit between the brand name and the concept, values and marks of identity of the facility among potential visitors to La Cité du Vin, not only in the region, but also nationally and internationally. These studies all showed that a change of name was required, as the existing name was seen as being difficult to memorise and out of step with the modernity of the project. The term Cité, meanwhile, was widely approved and considered as conveying the values of sharing, openness and accessibility that characterise the project.

Work could now begin on creating a new signature block (logo, brand name and signature) working with INOXIA, the Bordeaux communication agency (selected in a consultation of 5 communication firms), to define this new identity.

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