Wednesday, 17 November 2021

UNESCO Recognizes Trogir Brand Strategy as Positive Cultural Tourism Example

November 17, 2021 - The Trogir brand strategy 'Marked by Masters,' officially presented in November 2019, has been recognized by UNESCO as a positive cultural tourism example. 

At the end of 2019, the city of Trogir made a big step forward by presenting a new branding strategy, slogan, and visual identity, which was complemented by signage in the city, promotional materials, and a new website, jointly created by the city and the tourist board, reports HRTurizam.

Thus, Trogir became the first destination on the coast and the first city in Croatia, which began branding at such a serious and professional level. The project is called Marked by Masters, and you can read more about it on TCN HERE.

The Trogir brand strategy was recognized as a positive practice by UNESCO. Namely, on its official website, UNESCO writes about the Trogir branding project in the context of its importance for the sustainable development of the destination. "The new branding strategy of the city based on cultural values and community participation aims to increase the attractiveness of Trogir as a destination for cultural tourism," says UNESCO.


This is further confirmation of the value and importance of the project started two years ago, which will be intensively developed in the next five to ten years. It is necessary to fully implement it according to the experience of international cities, said the city of Trogir, adding that they are excited that UNESCO has confirmed their work by sharing the case study for the City of Trogir, authored by the Fabular agency.

"In the Middle Ages, world-class masters worked in Trogir, such as masters Radovan, Nikola Firentinski, Muscardel, Andrea Alessi, and Duknović, creating masterpieces, but also leaving smaller, detailed traces in the old town. The challenge was to unite the city's masters with "medieval graffiti" and games carved into the stone, like chess and merel, which we did by creating a story that called for discovering the traces of masters in every corner of this beautiful city."

According to UNESCO, if the project is fully implemented in accordance with the described plans, the initiative could contribute to sustainable development and the UNWTO (Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals) sustainable development goals. Trogir has been on the UNESCO list since 1997. 

Follow our dedicated travel page for more information on Trogir, Marked by Masters, and much more.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Trogir, Marked by Masters: Traditional A Cappella Singing by Klapa Trogir

March 3, 2020 - TCN meets the modern masters of Trogir in our latest series. Next up, traditional a cappella singing by Klapa Trogir.

In November 2019, Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, visual identity, and promotional video, becoming the first coastal destination in Croatia to use branding at such a serious and professional level.

The result of the creative process is the slogan “Marked by Masters”, influenced by the continuity of life in Trogir for over 3600 years, the great masters who have operated in Trogir since the Middle Ages, and the indelible traces that these masters leave. 

While the medieval master builders, sculptors, and stone-cutters who lived and created in Trogir left their mark through the traces of graffiti around the town, centuries later, we can find Trogir’s modern masters thriving as artists, chefs, jewelers, tailors, and klapa singers, to name a few. 

Today, we meet Klapa Trogir, whose traditional a capella folk songs have decorated the squares of Trogir for over half a century. 

The narrow arched streets, beneath the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance windows and balconies of ancient Trogir, have always echoed the songs of heavyweights, fishers, and sailors. The catchy or rustic tunes marveled wonderfully at the city's turbulent past. These Dalmatian folk tunes originate from the everyday life of a coastal man whose traces are rooted in the centuries-old singing of folk fraternities of medieval churches. Thus, 56 years ago, Klapa Trogir klapa was borne out of the same environment.

Klapa Trogir was founded in 1964, at the premises of the Kolo Cultural and Art Society, which has cultivated the rich tradition of the Trogir choir since its foundation in 1919. Formed by friends and folk singers who first called themselves 'Grupa Dalmatinaca', they were one of the first formally formed vocal bodies of Klapa founded in Dalmatia.

Hoping to prove themselves at the first-ever Omiš Klapa Festival in 1967, Grupa Dalmatinaca needed to change their name in order to perform. After contemplating many stage names, "Oktet Trogir" was accepted.

Oktet Trogir performed folk tunes “Cviće moje”, “Ako si pošla spat” and “Blago, blago” and was awarded the second-largest cash prize by the jury.

A long-time member of the jury, distinguished historian and cultural worker Željko Rapanić reviewed their performance in Slobodna Dalmacija:

"... in the great flood of fabricated pseudo folklore and folk music, nurturing the original Dalmatian song as a musical expression of a particular and independent ethnic medium and ambiance has its deep meaning ... in this sense, we would emphasize Oktet Trogir..."

For the next 20 years, Klapa Trogir confirmed its quality by winning twenty awards from the Omiš jury or audience - and in 1986, Klapa Trogir was voted the most successful klapa for the first two decades of the Festival.

Klapa Trogir was conducted by leading music experts of the time, like Josip Veršić, Silvije Bombardelli, Nikolaj Žličar, Nikola Buble, Ljubo Stipišić, Joško Ćaleta, Duško Tambača, and Vladan Vuletin to name a few.

The size and merit of Klapa Trogir is that by its quality of singing, and especially by its relation to the singing tradition of its region, it has been able to prove its worth at an almost academic level, while preserving traditional songs, which they then recorded and released. Today, the songs are essential literature for any aspiring klapa singer.

The sound of Klapa Trogir, special and inimitable, is the soundtrack to scenes of ancient Trogir, the cathedral and busy squares, parks and terrace gardens, and dawn or dusk reflected on the calm sea.

Some say that Klapa Trogir can thank its harmony from the singer's brotherly bond, which often corresponds to the truth. Namely, from the beginning, the group once boasted brothers Geić, Frana, and Coce.

At the zenith of its Klapa voyage, Klapa Trogir ceased to operate in the first half of the 1990s. After a ten-year hiatus, in 2003, they reunited briefly to celebrate 40 years with performances at Poljud, Lisinski and other concert venues across Croatia. 

Behind Klapa Trogir is a magnificent opus of Dalmatian folk songs, new klapa compositions, modern popular festival songs and world, classical and sacred compositions of international provenance.

Last summer, Klapa Trogir reunited to take part in the Trogir Cultural Summer program.

"I am delighted to have revived the Klapa song after 30 years in Trogir. We proved that the songs did not die in the city, and that many of our vocals will be performed forever. A lot is going on in Klapa songs nowadays, and you can find yourself singing in odd places, from funerals to weddings, or theaters to stadiums, and the least are sung in streets or alleyways. We think that this should be indigenous singing, it is simply that charm that cannot be extinguished and what made the Trogir Klapa famous," said Klapa Trogir member Igor Brešan.

Their last concerts were very well received and were designed in three parts. While they most sang a capella, and songs belonging to the locality of Trogir, in the second part, they presented the fun songs of Zdenko Runjić in klapa versions, and in the third, dedicated songs to people who were gone, primarily Nikola Buble and Vinko Coce.

"The concerts were very well received by the audience. There is no makeup artist here, it is sung simply without a microphone, as in the aforementioned streets, very dignified. In the 55th year of existence, we were given a stable team of 10 people who received their first recognition from the President, then we toured in Ljubljana and Čakovec, and now we are going to Norway. The voice of Klapa Trogir really spreads nicely."

At the end of last year, they released a forgotten recording found somewhere in Split, including nine songs that have never been released in over 30 years.

Over the past decades, the Klapa has been enriched by top tenors such as Nikša Bilić Panto in the first line-up, with his seconder, Špire Piteša, and in the second it was Vinko Coce and Zoran Demirović - Čuči. Today, there is Ivo Ostric and Ivo Coce, who will carry on the work of the klapa. The album of lost songs is event nominated for a Porin award - in three categories!

Many young singers grow up listening to these Trogir tenors and baritones, trying to copy the unique performances of Klapa Trogir. The wonderful voices and interpretations of Vinko Coce, Zoran Demirović - Čuč, Duje Coce, Mario Franić, and Frane Frana, Marinko Rožić and Vlado Rilja, the most famous singers of Trogir, will remain an unattainable model and lasting value of Dalmatian musical tradition.

To read more about the modern masters leaving their mark on Trogir today, as well as the latest from this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, follow the dedicated TCN Trogir page.

Source:, Trogirski Portal

Monday, 25 November 2019

Marked by Masters: Trogir Unveils Stunning New Branding

November the 25th, 2019 - ‘’Our wish through branding is to become one of a number of similar destinations in the Adriatic and to become recognisable by the variety of special features we have,’’ stated Mayor Ante Bilic when discussing Marked by Masters, Trogir's new brand.

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The City of Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, a new visual identity and a new promotional video for the city. At an event in a crowded town square, the professional public and other citizens were presented with the project that Trogir made as the first city in Dalmatia. After a year and a half of work involving more than a hundred people in various ways, Trogir has become the first coastal destination to begin branding at such a serious and professional level.

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The aim of the project was to identify the features that distinguish Trogir from other cities and to shape them into a new slogan, logo and narrative that will be talked about primarily by the residents of Trogir, those who work in tourism, residents of this Dalmatian region, local and foreign tourists, and the media. The idea is that by using heritage and local specialities in a contemporary context and by enhancing authentic values, the city can be positioned not only as one of the most desirable Croatian destinations, but also Mediterranean destinations. The project is modelled after many European destinations, such as Glasgow, Eindhoven, Bologna, Berlin..., which, after branding, recorded a number of positive economic effects, all of which Trogir also wants to achieve.

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“We decided to embark on this project because, by looking at foreign examples, we realised the positive impact that quality branding has on the lives of local people. We’re also aware that the market is changing and that only those who respond to the needs of today's tourists will be able to continue to develop without compromising the quality of life of local people. We wish, through branding, to profile ourselves among a number of similar destinations in the Adriatic and to become recognisable by the range of special features we have. Trogir deserves it primarily for the people who live here and create it, its beauty and heritage and the fact that it has been on the UNESCO list for 22 years,’’ said Mayor Ante Bilic, adding: 

‘’We want to stop Trogir from becoming a fast food destination. I’m proud that we, and on such a high level, were the first in Dalmatia to launch such a complex project which is based not only on new and beautiful visuals, but on a strategy that should guide us in the coming years, and, I repeat, bring great benefits to Trogir and to our fellow citizens. There are still many steps ahead of us and we’ll certainly be learning as we go, but I hope that we will soon become a positive example and that other cities will follow us.’’

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The project was worked on by the internationally award-winning Zagreb-based Fabular, a member of the REBRAND Hall of Fame™ Professional Association, among the top 25 brand consultants in the world, led by branding strategy director Anja Bauer, author of the proprietary "8 Branding Ingredients" formula and leading branding expert in Croatia.

In a process that lasted for more than a year, an extensive interdisciplinary survey was conducted on the perception, potential and challenges of Trogir, which analysed historical material, conducted surveys with locals and tourists, and talked to all meritorious people in the city - from historians, craftsmen, caterers, museum staff, City, Tourist Board, tourist guides…

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"Working on Trogir’s branding was interesting, intriguing, invigorating, instructive. Trogir is a place that fascinated us with its beauty and its depth of meaning and we all enjoyed creating its story. Through our research, we’ve identified three key things, impressive features that make up the identity of Trogir. These are the continuities of life over 3600 years, then the great masters who have been operating there since the Middle Ages up to this day, and the indelible traces that these masters leave. These are the three main elements, the so-called sweet spot of Trogir, based upon which we created the strategy,’’ said Anja Bauer, owner and creative director of Fabular.

The author of the new visual identity of Trogir is Maja Bagic Baric, one of the most respected Croatian designers. Fabular found the signature of 13th-century master Muscardell in the interior of the Cathedral of Trogir. Nikola Đurek, Faculty Professor in Split and Zagreb, who is otherwise the most famous Croatian typographer, created a new font. In the creative process, a new city slogan was created: "Marked by Masters".

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"The new visual identity of the city of Trogir outlines traces carved in stone and unique, world-class art. Inspiration was found in old traces, signatures and notes left by the medieval masters at the Cathedral of St. Lawrence and the Church of St. John the Baptist. 

It is a trace of a mark in time that bears witness not only to the supreme creativity, but also to life and play - a prayer - a sailboat and a permit and the completion of construction of Radovan’s stamp. The logo depicts a the lines for a traditional game called Trlja (Mlin) carved in stone; it is one of the common clues left by the masters at St. Paul's Cathedral. St. Lawrence and the Church of St. John the Baptist.

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It tells us about the simplicity and beauty of living in Trogir, and points out that in addition to magnificent buildings, the beauty of everyday life in Trogir is equally inspiring. A system of pictograms has been developed, inspired by the urban and artistic heritage of the city of Trogir, as well as outlining everyday life through the traces and graffiti left by the medieval masters builders, sculptors and stone-cutters who lived and created things here, who, centuries later, still vividly testify to the intertwining of the sublime and the living,’’ explained Anja Bauer.

The project has also seen a new promotional video of Trogir created, and behind the footage is the multi internationally award-winning Split cinematographer Milan Latkovic. The shooting lasted for 30 days, with five hours of footage, the first of which was created in a series of videos showing Trogir in a new light.

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The video is special in that it involves many people, with an emphasis on craftsmen (masters), both those who created it, and many contemporary craftsmen - sculptors, painters, coralers, tanneries, as well as children from Trogir’s schools and kindergartens, athletes, grandmothers from the market and many others, olive growers, beekeepers, winemakers, chefs ..., all the people who make the city what it is.

"The filming was interesting and fun, and sometimes even dangerous, such as when we went into the apiary in shorts. There were also ankle twists along Trogir’s cobbles, the clouds knew how to cover the sun when it was not needed, but we still managed to capture everything just as we’d imagined.

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There were days when we were filming at 12 o'clock, which at 35 degrees and when the sun is at its most fierce can be quite exhausting, but in the lives of me and my colleague Ratko Ilijic, this is common. All for a good shot. We met a lot of great people from Trogir and learned many things we didn't know about the city, even though we’d been there so many times before. We were most impressed by the craftsmen who work there and who haven’t been influenced by the negative effects of mass tourism, but who instead stick to tradition. It was challenging to reduce five hours of material don to just three minutes, but modern trends want short forms. Fortunately, we have so much great stuff captured that the plan and desire is to make a series of small videos in the next year in which we’ll show everything we filmed. It would be a shame not to see all that, too,’’ said Milan Latkovic.

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Many heads of tourist boards, tour guides, hotel and agency managers and other tourism professionals had the opportunity to visit the city for the first time today in a so-called masterful tour through which all the special features of the new branding of the city were shown, and the tour was led by an experienced guide, a Trogir native, Ana Tomić. The famous Trogir chef Robert Predrag Žmire also joined the project, not only as a face in the video, but also as the author of a special, modern menu made up of traditional Trogir dishes. For this occasion, children from kindergartens in Trogir worked on a project to play traditional games such as Trlja, with the aim of preventing them from escaping collective memory.

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‘’The branding of a destination is very important, especially when it comes to tourist cities, for which tourism is one of the main branches of the economy. I really liked what I saw in Trogir and this is the direction that all Dalmatian cities should go in in terms of developing their brand, and I can say that Split is going in that direction as well,’’ said Alijana Vukšić, director of the Split Tourist Board.

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In the coming years, the implementation of this project will follow, aiming at what everyone wants - to attract the more affluent, the so-called cultural tourists who stay longer and spend more through the revitalisation of neglected and hidden locations, both in the core and beyond, then the lengthening of the season, holding ‘’master’’ workshops, organising various events which encompass Trogir’s new brand throughout the year, cooperating with universities, hosting art colonies, and sports competitions.

Nove majice s novim vizualnim identitetom.jpgLjubo Jelavić (vina Kairos) i Marija Rožić.jpgDanijela Raguž, Ivica Profaca i Paul Bradbury.jpgRuža Kovačević Bilić, Ante Bilić i Viktor Novak.jpgRobert Predrag Žmire.jpgAlijana Vukšić.jpgAlijana Vukšić i Ante Bilić.jpg

Find out more about Marked by Masters and Trogir's branding by watching the video below:

Follow our dedicated travel page for more information on Trogir, Marked by Masters and much more.