New Brighton seeking new city logo


submitted graphic • New Brighton is in the process of selecting a new logo to replace its current logo, as seen above. This month, residents will have a chance to vote on their favorite new city logo, before the city council makes a final decision July 24.

“For me,” said New Brighton City Manager Dean Lotter during a recent interview, explaining the power of branding, “ask Google how important branding is to them, or Ford or Chevy.”

People know a Chevy without even seeing the word, just the symbol, he said. “There is identity there.”

New Brighton’s current logo, which is plastered on its water tower, police cars, shirts, business cards and many other places, is “kind of enigmatic,” said Lotter. Only after looking at it long enough can a discernable “N” and “B” be made out. 

Lotter said rebranding the logo was been a goal of his since he arrived in the city more than a decade ago. In that time, he said he’s heard residents and officials express varying degrees of interest in changing it, while some officials felt the change was more trouble than it’d be worth. 

But with the current city council open to looking into a new logo, and the cost of the project likely to be under $2,000, said Lotter, the rebrand, including a new tagline, is moving forward.

That low cost, relative to marketing agency invoices that can range in the tens of thousands of dollars, is the byproduct of a design competition. City staff, said Lotter, put up contest parameters and winnings — which Lotter said is under that $2,000 — on the website www.99designs.com.

The posting yielded some 300 designs from more than 100 artists from all over the world. 

 

Art show

At the June 26 council work session meeting, city staff presented the council with the contest finalists. The city will next select new logo candidates that will be presented to the public for a vote. 

Before the finalists were presented, though, there was the also-rans. Parks and Recreations Director Jennifer Fink started the presentation with designs that she said made city staff say “Huh?”

One design came with the tagline “Brighton up your life,” which Fink said staff didn’t feel was a good one for the city. Council member Paul Jacobsen, though, said he liked the stars in the design. 

“This one looks like ‘Finding Nemo’ a little bit,” Fink said, moving onto another submission. “A place to live together,” was the tag. “Can’t argue with that,” council member Emily Dunsworth conceded. 

Another design Fink called “cool” — it looked like a neon sign or baseball jersey — was not what the city is looking for. 

Some of the submissions staff scoffed at seemed to be made without any regard for the competition criteria, said Fink. 

The criteria provided to designers, she said, was for a design that reflects the city as an urban forest on the large Long Lake, a city in transition with a changing population becoming younger and more diverse. The design would also need to fit well with other city logos, like for the New Brighton Community Center.

The criteria provided some suggested guidelines, but overall it was “very wide open,” Fink added.

The finalists, according to Deputy City Clerk Sandra Daniloff, were selected because the designs could be blown up and read on a water tower, but not with so much detail that it would be hard to make it out when printed on a business card or as a small logo on a shirt. 

Community Assets and Development Director Craig Schlichting said staff gravitated towards designs in which water has a place and the colors of blue and green play off nature.

After designs are selected for resident input, Lotter said, the city will launch a survey after the July 10 city council meeting. Residents will have about a week, or a little more, to vote on a design online. The council will make a final decision during the July 24 meeting, based on council thoughts and community feedback.

 

– Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815

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