A citywide survey in January 2018 to determine what elements of a city logo residents and business people like or don’t like was approved by the Birmingham City Commission Monday, November 20, after city commissioners took no action last July on five logo designs presented by Birmingham ad agency McCann Detroit.
Joellen Haines, assistant to city manager Joe Valentine, explained to commissioners at their July 24 meeting that the goal of a rebranding initiative which McCann Detroit and the ad hoc brand development committee (BBDC) started was to establish a new brand through a new logo that communicated the city’s image in a positive, evolving and refreshing way. She said McCann was chosen to create a logo to represent Birmingham “today, and where it is going.”
However, commissioners felt the logos presented were a “work in progress,” which needed to be refined. One design element, an icon of the Marshall Fredericks sculpture located in Shain Park, with Birmingham: A Walkable City, in classic typeface, was preferred by the agency and the ad hoc committee, but the commission felt no one could identify it. Others were deemed too generic.
The current city logo features a tree.
On November 20, Haines said the idea was to move the city logo initiative forward by having a citywide survey done to include the five previous logos “as well as a two new ones with a tree logo and one including our existing logo, but not identifying it as such.”
She said the survey is designed to gather feedback as well as design elements. “It could be designs, but it could be fonts,” she said. “We asked very definitive questions, and we left areas for comments. We’re looking for cold hard facts.”
She said they will reach people through their monthly online newsletter, Facebook page, Around Town email blast, through neighborhood associations, and after mayor Andy Harris suggested it, at Baldwin Library. It will be done during a three-week period, which people can respond to via their computers or mobile devices.
After the survey is completed, Haines said the committee will gather the data, summarize it, and present it to the commission who can then determine if there is enough to go on for a preferred logo, or to make minor alterations.
It was determined that the survey will be run roughly January 1 – 21, 2018.
Commissioners agreed, voting 6-0, with commissioner Mark Nickita not in attendance, to approve the survey.