What’s behind the Capital Translations brand:Part 2 – The Logo

What makes up the Capital Translations logo?


Firstly, the colours. One idea is to use colours from the flags of countries representing a translator’s source languages. Blue, red and green are the colours that first come to mind. Another is to use colours that mean a lot to you personally.

These days, non-linguists are becoming increasingly aware of translation as a business opportunity rather than a fringe service, which is why I thought it was important to convey a sense of modernity and professionalism in the logo, something I feel that the golden yellow and white on black achieve.

Secondly, the image. Again, rather than flag-related or abstract content, I opted for a unique concept. The logo pictures some of Cardiff’s best-known landmarks in one skyline. From left to right and foreground to background on the logo:

Built by the Normans, potentially by William the Conqueror himself. The castle was later expanded and defensive walls were erected (not shown in this picture), which expanded the castle significantly, such that it now takes up a significant part of the northern city centre. In many ways, Cardiff is like any other modern major city, but Cardiff Castle is a striking reminder that you’re still in Wales, the land of castles.

A key landmark in Cardiff’s maritime history, built in 1897, the majestic red-brick Pierhead building stands on the edge of the city’s waterfront and was the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company. Its clock tower is to Cardiff what Big Ben is to London. The building is Grade I listed and is now a history museum and exhibition.

A newer edition to the Cardiff skyline, at just 10 years old, the Wales Millennium Centre, also known as the Cardiff Bay Opera House, serves as a major performing arts centre for the city and the country. Its façade is unmistakeable. The architect’s concept of the building was one that expressed “Welshness” and was instantly recognisable, and this has certainly been achieved through its construction materials made all over Wales: slate, metal, wood and glass. The Wales Millennium Centre sits on Roald Dahl Plas, a large public square that is constantly hosting festivals and outdoor concerts overlooking Cardiff Bay. The centre is viewed side-on in the logo, behind the clocktower of the Pierhead building, which is geographically accurate when looking north.

Perhaps not as architecturally diverse as other Cardiff landmarks, but these two high-rise office buildings are Cardiff’s tallest. Capital Tower overlooks both Cardiff Castle and Cardiff’s Edwardian city hall, whilst Stadium House eclipses the Millennium Stadium, and is recognisable for the large disc and spire that protrude from its roof. Both skyscrapers can be seen from many places in the city, particularly the hills to the north and west of Cardiff.

Finally, the iconic Millennium Stadium rounds off the Capital Translations logo, and might have been unrecognisable were it not for its spikes that project from its four corners. The stadium was built for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, which the city hosted, and now serves as the national stadium for Wales. Its city centre location makes for a great atmosphere in central Cardiff on match days.

All of these buildings have shaped Cardiff’s history, from its beginnings as a Roman and Norman fort, to a Victorian capital of industry, and now a mecca of sport and culture, and Capital Translations will certainly draw on the inspiration that this city provides.

Here are some Cardiff landmarks that didn’t make the logo:

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the new blogs.