- Poster and flyer
- —Visões Úteis
- Porto, Portugal
Nióbio is a play by Visões Úteis dedicated to questions and dilemmas around national identity, featuring a quirky group of separatist agitators who secede from Portugal in order to create the new nation of Nióbio. We took care of the identity and advertising materials for the play, which are based on re-imaginations of the Portuguese flag's icons into a new form based on Nióbio's national mascot, the lobster.
From the original blurb:
In a kind of territorial enclave, a peculiar group of characters agree to separate from their motherland and proclaim the independence of a new State. The new micro-nation, Nióbio, is composed of three inhabitants, a music band and a lobster. And the band is not even complete. Any nation which wants to become a serious nation requires its own History, laws and languages; if none of those exist, they can quickly be thought up. The new people of Nióbio shall implement all necessary procedures to validate the newborn country, going through the selection of national symbols, managing diplomatic relations with international organisations, as well as long-term sustainability strategies. However, despite all efforts from its founders (and only citizens), the nation of Nióbio does not face a promising future. Maybe because it can't help repeating the mistakes which dictated the degeneration of the motherland.
From the starting point of a new nation looking for its identity, we set out to devise an emblem which could convey the dignity of the new micro-nation, as well as emphasize the hodge-podge, mish-mash nature of its modest and reckless origins.
The resulting identity took the form of the country's mascot -- the lobster -- composed with graphic elements from the Portuguese Coat of Arms. The references to Portuguese national iconography are echoed on other, less visible graphic elements. For the logo itself, we resorted to an appropriately bastardised typeface which had been originally designed in Germany, named after Holland and released in Portugal; we took inspiration from the original, mid-century letterforms to develop the "Nióbio" lettering (neatly avoiding the urge to use the Lobster font.