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City of Tramelan: Corporate Identity

Between 2004 and 2008, onlab created the new corporate design and visual language of the city of Tramelan in Switzerland, translating the concept into various extensive media and applications.

As an urgent response to 25 years of shrinking and economic regression in Tramelan, an interdisciplinary commission was assigned with the task to examine the identity and development opportunities of Tramelan. onlab was invited to contribute as advisors in the field of communication. After the final report, onlab was commissioned to develop a new visual identity and communication strategy for the village in 2006 and for the years to come.

“A plea to see behind the curtain.”

Dörte Schütz, Typo Berlin

Key terms of the communication strategy derived from the cultural and historic traits of Tramelan and were identified as “Savoir Faire”, representing the know-how and craftsmanship of the watchmaker industry, and the “Savoir Vivre” representing the authentic lifestyle of the population. These key terms served as conceptual framework for color-coding as well as other formal design features of the visual identity.

The first intervention was related to the industrial tradition and the culture of watch making. Based on that, onlab designed the exclusive typeface “Tramelan- Lutz”, which was derived from the typeface “Lutz”. The new emblem and logo are formally based on the newly created typeface, an approach providing a strong uniformity and clarity for all media.



The first visual identity of Tramelan was introduced in 1441 and is an adaption of the armoral bearings of the local duke. Over the centuries, different versions of the emblem with the three linden leafs emerged. In 1954, the council of Tramelan defined the emblem by nothing more than a sentence according to the heraldic tradition. This leaves a certain space for interpretations of the emblem.


Three linden leaves are composing the emblem. – The central linden leave is rotated to the right… – …to create the “TR” sign… – …”TR” for “TRAMELAN”.

Another graphic element is the diagonal. Derived from the emblem, it is a basic element giving a strong identification value to the communication.

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