Mar 10, 2010
Erg! The Thylacine.
Being a Tasmanian designer the icon of the Thylacine remains a bane in my life.
From what I’ve been able to gather over the years, the rationale behind the current government brand was to draw attention to our wild and ‘mysterious’ state. However, to me and other designers I know it has also become an unintentional vehicle for flaunting our history of colonial narrow-mindedness. The fact that we have designated the current logo as the “dead dog” just reinforces my point.
Our colonial ancestors did not try to find a way to co-exist with this unique creature and actively pursued, hunted and trapped the Thylacine to extinction. Today, the majority of us lament the loss of such a rare creature. So why is it, as unintentional as this allegory might be, that the government permits the Thylacine to be showcased like a trophy bust on a wall? Is this just not another form of narrow-mindedness?
I’m with South Southwest all the way. A re-brand is needed. But why don’t we turn the page on the Thylacine chapter. Let the dead dog lie.
I must admit when we started this process I thought the same, but from some of the perspectives we’ve heard I do appreciate that for some, the animal has become a powerful myth and it’s value as a cultural icon overshadows it’s physical reality as an extinct animal.
Over half the people we polled still think they may roam wild so we couldn’t just write off the icon based on our subjective view.
Copyright 2009-2010. Rebrand Tasmania is an initiative of SouthSouthWest.