17 Jul 2008 New logo!
(Contact details for my logo designer are at the bottom of the post)
“Hi. My name is Naomi, and I’m a tramfan.”
Trams (trolleys to Americans) are a big part of Melbourne life and culture. We’re one of the few cities in Australia that still use trams, and Melbourne is particularly known for the ‘W’ class ones - still running as a free tourist tram in the city after being introduced in 1923. I’ve been taking trams since I was a child, as it’s one of the few public transport systems near my house (buses didn’t start coming through our street until I was about 17). My grandparents were on the same tram line, school was two (three if you got lazy and couldn’t be bothered walking the 5 blocks between two lines) trams away.
In the last few years of school, my friends and I would often tram home together: three of us lived a few streets away from each other. We loved the ’square’ trams (properly named A class trams), the ’round’ ones (W class - which actually never came down our line), and the ‘new’ pointy-nosed ones… Actually, it wasn’t until researching several years later that the new ones - Z class - were actually made in the 70s, and the A and B classes (B was just a longer version of the A) were made in the 90s. The ‘new’ ones were older than the others!
I know a ridiculous amount of information about Melbourne’s trams: ‘crush loads’ (how many people you can ‘crush’ on board; includes seating and standing room), how the electricity runs through the body of the trams… etc. I enjoy a good tram ride, as you can see. In the early ’00s, Melbourne’s trams were extended to include funky new modern styles of trams. The Combino … bare with me, there’s a point to this… or the C class tram was the first to be in place, and are only used in the city centre and south west suburbs. With low floors (a first for Melbourne trams), a more spacious feel/larger crush load, it’s a nice ride. Later on, the Citadis, or D class, was introduced. Much the same as the C class, it’s lower, roomier, safer for the drivers, and is modern.
(Oh, and don’t get me started on tram conductors and the use of ticket machines )
Anyway, when I was at uni, I had the marvelous opportunity to work on a tram during the annual Moomba Festival. This festival is set in March, and celebrates local cultures and communities that make up the town. It usually runs for a week or so, but culminates in a large parade, in which different community groups (usually different immigrant groups) participate. For several years.. still here? Good, keep reading… for several years the organisers would take W class trams (those ones from 1923 remember?) and use them for the parade, running them down Swanston St, from St Kilda to the city centre. This is pretty much the ‘main street’ for you non-Australians.
Well, in 2002, while at Swinburne, we were tasked to perform within and around one of the parade trams - the Quarter Acre tram. Why was it so special? Because it was covered, from head to toe, in real grass. No, I’m not making this up.
Inside the tram doors, and on the few seats visible from the doors, was covered in this grass. I was the stage manager for the whole class, which didn’t really mean much, just that I was sort of assistant to the lecturers. What I did do most of the time, was run up and down the inside of the tram, pushing fake flowers through flowerpots on the other side of the tram. (You see, it was a whole ‘Australian dream’ thing; fathers mowing lawns, sunbathing on cool green grass, swimming, etc. We had abseilers on the outside of the tram so it appeared as though they were sunbaking on a vertical landscape)
The cherry was a hidden sprinkler system, that sprayed the audience in a metre wide radius (sorry, two or three yards for you Americans) every hour on the hour.
This was one of my most favourite, and oddest, performances that I’ve ever worked on. I have loved trams even more since.
… And now we get to the relevant stuff.
I’ve been hunting for a new logo for the site… if you can’t tell, my temporary banner was created just as that, and I really can’t stand its amateurishness. I really wanted a logo to match the title of ‘Puppets in Melbourne’, and what’s more iconic or ideal than a Melbourne tram. I tried a couple of people to commission a design, but they didn’t pan out, and then I asked for some help at Puppets and Stuff - and what do you know? A Norwegian woman, Beatriz Vega, volunteered her design services (she does this stuff for a living), and I’ve got a great, scratch that: great logo.
And so here it is, the new logo! Really, truly, so awesome.
Beatriz did this in about two days, based on my design idea and, if you can’t tell, Doc from City Head was used as the inspiration for the puppet in the design.
I’ve seen some of Beatriz’s other designs, and I really recommend her work. If you’d like to contact her about doing a design for you, please email her at beavega4 AT gmail DOT com.
Thank you so much Beatriz!!!
(On a side note, there are a few formatting issues I’m struggling with. If any text seems out of the norm, it’s simply because I haven’t fixed it yet. I may also change the way the menu links at the top are shown… but it depends on how much patience I have for fixing this problem first. I have fiddled for two hours and still don’t know what’s causing it. In geek speak: a ghost is haunting my site!)