The unique platform afforded by Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the EU demands a logo that will capture not only the eye, but the imagination of Europe. 
 
The marque tells a story for each country that holds the Presidency – a story that is rooted in individual history and traditions, but at the same time reaches towards the united future of the European Union. 
 
This is, after all, a logo that will be seen on flags draped from the side of giant buildings in Brussels. It will be projected in conference rooms, adorn an unhealthy amount of stationery, introduce presentations, and welcome social media users.
 
It is a visual identity that you, we, and the rest of Europe will be seeing a lot of in the next six months, so we wanted to make sure it meant something, as well as being something we will all enjoy looking at.
 
Like all the best things, a creation story lies behind it genesis.
 
This logo is proudly Maltese. Host countries tend to adopt different methods for picking a logo design. Some commission an advertising agency, while others tender for marketing services that include the creation of the visual identity.
 
We decided, like our Council predecessor Slovakia and many other Member States, to open up the process. We wanted to give the next generation of visual artists and designers attending the MCAST Institute for Arts & Design the chance to showcase their talent.
 
Having delivered them the brief we received 29 stunning submissions, of which we shortlisted six.

The more we considered the options, the more one really began to stand out. Alexia Muscat's concept was rooted in the Maltese cross, an emblem associated with the Knights of the Order of St. John. For the Knights, the eight points represented the eight lands of their origin, but was also representative of the eight aspirations of the Order; truth, faith, repentance, humility, justice, mercy, sincerity and endurance. These eight aspirations became inherent to the Maltese way of life. The Maltese cross has become an instantly recognisable emblem of the Islands.

In its earliest version, it was an eight-point line drawing, red on white, matching the colours of the Maltese flag. Its contours were reworked through other shapes and symbols representing other Maltese cultural traditions – namely windmills, the traditional ‘luzzu’, tiles and door knobs.
 
It was then refined and updated to reflect Malta's contemporary, forward-looking side, while Alexia's original concept was never lost sight of. 

That is what brought us to the logo that you see on this page. It has become a more stylised interpretation of the Maltese Cross, to bridge the historical gap between historical national values, and the multi-faceted fellowship that currently characterises the EU. It points in all directions, indicating where Malta sees her place in the world. It looks both forward, and back, but draws different influences and currents together in one strong, central shape.
 
And its colours suggest no longer the Maltese flag, but the dusk and the sunrise, suggesting the continual process of rebirth, renewal and reunion that our continent passes through.

Our sincere thanks to all the students, and tutors, at MCAST, who bought into this idea so enthusiastically.  

Your creativity, diligence and passion were perfectly demonstrated in the fantastic submissions we received.
 
 
 
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