Fri, Aug 11, 2006 - Page 2 News List

New `Taipei style' souvenirs aim to define city's image

ICONIC REMINDERS The city government has produced a line of T-shirts, caps and backpacks that use famous landmarks along with the city's name

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tourists snatch up Big Apple-logo souvenirs when they go to New York City or T-shirts emblazoned with the Eiffel Tower on a trip to Paris, but what icons representing Taipei can tourists take home?

Taipei's Department of Information launched a new line of souvenirs yesterday whose design is based on the word "Taipei," in a bid to enhance tourists' impressions of the city.

The "Taipei style" souvenirs, including T-shirts, backpacks, caps and ties, feature a logo that blends famous landmarks such as the 101 Mall and the North Gate into the word "Taipei."

A curved line that crosses the word represents the city's MRT system, according to Bright Ideas Design, a design company that helped the city government design the logo.

"Visitors would buy Big Apple-logo souvenirs in New York City, but there is no such merchandise that represents the character of Taipei," Taipei Information Department Director Lo Chih-cheng (羅智成) said yesterday at Taipei City Hall.

Addressing the launch ceremony, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who was wearing a Taipei-style T-shirt, said he expected the development of the new souvenirs to strengthen tourists' impression of Taipei, while inspiring residents to discover more about their city.

In addition to the city government's products, shirts featuring celebrities were also showcased at the ceremony, including a T-shirt donated by Ma, New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民), film director Ang Lee (李安) and others.

Each celebrity shirt featured the figure's comments on the city and their signature.

The celebrity shirts, however, are not for sale. They will be stored at the Taipei Discovery Center and Taipei Physical Education College.

Several companies, including Starbucks, also displayed products featuring Taipei that ranged from postcards, to calendars and mugs at yesterday's ceremony.

Tony Tseng (曾國源), a representative from an art company called Artilize, said its "Taipei Night Light" series, which included four night lights in the shapes of Taipei 101 and MRT trains, allowed customers to "sleep with Taipei City."

Calendars designed by another company feature Taipei's cityscape, with introductions in both Chinese and English.

The "Taipei-style" souvenirs will be sold at the city hall's gift shop.

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