This thesis examines the visual identities of cities. In the process a place-specific comparison is conducted which examines the identities of Porto, Barcelona and Amsterdam. The key question is: what makes Porto look like Porto, Barcelona look like Barcelona, and Amsterdam look like Amsterdam?
With the help of findings from the fields of cultural studies, branding, design and urban planning, the aim of this investigation is to first define what constitutes a city image, and then compare the three example cities in that regard. This comparison deliberately only looks at the area of visual identity, although of course the cultural context and the way in which people perceive their surroundings is much more complex. The visual exploration of the cities takes place through the visual content and its framing, which go hand in hand with the premise of the thesis. The more the images in the text are investigated, the more they can also be found in the layout of this thesis. In other words, the visual identity of the city increasingly crystallizes with each new page of the text.