No logo: City of Vancouver pulls the plug on rebrand after dumping controversial logo
Nearly a year after the City of Vancouver first rolled out a widely-panned new logo, officials say they’re dropping the re-brand completely.
The city had pledged to hold a design competition, complete with online vote, to re-brand the city after its own choice — selected from a lowest-bid contract — fell flat.
LISTEN: The City of Vancouver is sticking with its current logo
“The feedback from the survey the [city] conducted in 2017 was that the public did not want the [city] to spend more money on logo development,” said a statement from the city.
“The advice from the design community was to proceed only if it was properly resourced and part of a more comprehensive brand design, which could not be a rushed process.”
It said the time and resources to proceed with such a re-brand aren’t available in the council’s remaining term, and so the design work won’t move forward.
LISTEN: Vancouver Councillor Melissa de Genova explains opposition to proposed new logo (Feb., 2017)
The city unveiled its selection for a logo redesign, which was intended to replace the current stylized flower logo, last February.
It said the “wordmark,” which cost $8,000 to develop, was meant to give the city a “new visual identity,” and would be easier to understand among Vancouver’s ethnically diverse population.
However, the simple block-letter graphic met with near instant online mockery.
A group of people working in the city’s design and creative sector also banded together to write an open letter calling the logo an “insult” to the city.
Signatories to the letter suggested the simple artwork did nothing to develop Vancouver’s civic identity.
They also slammed the city of budgeting as little as possible and hiring the lowest bidder for the design, in a city where the creative class struggles with affordability issues.
“On one hand, the city publicly touts the importance of creative and innovation economies in Vancouver, and justifies the development of these sectors as a primary motivation for this exercise,” the letter said. “On the other hand, when it comes to redeveloping the identity for a city of our size, the city chooses to severely under-invest resources and time.”
In the wake of the controversy, the city froze the roll out of the new logo last spring, with Mayor Gregor Robertson pledging to hold conversations with local designers about the logo and the city’s brand.
Council approved a motion in May to have designers work on new images, gather public input and hold an online vote on a new logo in the fall
“We want this to be a great visual identity. We want to make sure people weigh in on what they want to see,” said Robertson, at the time.
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