Philadelphia is a happening little city, the cradle of liberty, and the site of Happy Cog East. It’s also a city that gets unfairly overlooked—like a beauty whose sisters are supermodels. But I have a plan.

I want to rebrand Philadelphia as !adelphia.

I can see the logo. I can see half a dozen ad campaigns, some of them even good. I see a decent theme-line and sense that a much better one is out there. I see commercials and bus posters, I hear tourist board tie-ins and radio spots. I see Kottke, Joe Clarke, and Design Observer trashing the campaign on various intellectual and typographic grounds. I see contests where designers submit how they would have done the logo.

Maybe it’s the meds talking, but I think we’re on to something. Viva !adelphia!

29 thoughts on “Bangadelphia

  1. But I think you’re onto something even better, without even knowing it:

    Vivadelphia sounds less like pornography, more like a tasty snack.

  2. When Philadelphia stops throwing snowballs and D Cell Batteries @ Santa Clause during Eagles games…. maybe!

  3. A design contest? Isn’t that, like, spec work? ;)

    It would be, if designers were being asked to create an actual logo for the city of Philadelphia. It wouldn’t be if it were simply a creative challenge. In any case, I didn’t say I would host it. I simply imagined it arising as designers reacted to the !adelphia campaign. (Similar events took place around the ill-fated NYC taxi logo rebranding.)

  4. Viva !adelphia!

    I’m on my way back up there, from DC, this afternoon for the holidays and this post got me even more excited to get back to my hometown.

  5. That reminds me of my old cable company, Adelphia.

    Adelphia Communications Corporation, named after the Greek word “brothers”, was the fifth largest cable company in the United States before filing for bankruptcy in 2002 as a result of internal corruption.

    !adelphia then might actually be appropriate for two reasons; “brothers” or brotherly love, and corruption.

    No offense to the folks who live in Philly. I like the city, and love the pretzels. With mustard.

  6. Of course, the programmers in the world would read that as “No adelphia”, which (per Bufort) would come out as “No brothers”.

    Okay, I’m getting hip to this. Especially since it means the baseball team would become “The Bangies”. Or maybe “The Bangles”, in which case they could walk onto the field like Egyptians.


  7. The town of Hamilton, Ohio had its name officially changed to Hamilton! back in the late 1980s in hopes of stirring excitement and interest in the sleepy little town. Most map makers ignored it. Some didn’t. By the late 1990s, they officially dropped the exclamation point.

  8. This use of ! to mean bang could cause problems here in the U.K. There is a small town in Devon called Westward Ho! The only place in the UK to have an explanation mark in its name.

    I guess pronouncing it your way would mean calling it Westward Ho Bang. My (possibly limited and mistaken) understanding of the U.S. vernacular, makes it just sound very wrong.

    Jeff, have a happy Christmas and also good luck with the rebranding if somebody gives you the nod to do it.

  9. I work down the street from Happy Cog. Good lord, an “!” will not make Philly any cleaner, nicer and more attractive. Philly is the sister with the missing tooth spitting a loogy on the sidewalk while screaming at her kids pushing her stroller through the gayborhood trying to score some heroin!

    People are mean here. The sports fans are NUTS. I just went to an Eagles game for the last time. I remember walking to work, Philadelphia smelled as clean as it could smell from the rain, and there is a bum in the alley across from Happy Cog taking a piss facing the street, not the building!

    I went to Seattle for an Event apart. I didn’t want to go. I was shocked at how nice it was. I didn’t want to leave. I flew home, I surfaced from the train onto Market Street in Philadelphia and realized how nasty Philly really is!

    There is a culture in Philly that will never change. Philadelphia is ignored for a reason. And there have been some funny well done ad campaigns and TV commercials. I don’t know if they helped Philly much.

  10. Maybe it’s the meds talking…

    Of course, you could always have T. Rex’s, “Bang a Gong” as the theme music to go with it.

  11. Talking about Philly is not complete without discourse
    on Camden NJ. Maybe a theme song by Johnny Rotten.
    Or this quote from Mr. Rotten.

    “Sometimes the most positive thing you can be in a boring society is absolutely negative.”

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