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Birmingham finally approves new city logo

By Kevin Elliott

Birmingham City Commissioners on Monday, April 25, approved a new logo for the city, putting to rest a process that lasted more than a half decade and stalled with the same logo in 2017.

Birmingham Assistant City Manager Jana Ecker said the city’s ad hoc wayfinding and gateway signage committee was established to explore the development and placement of gateway features, landscaping and other enhancements at S. Old Woodward and Woodward, and around the city. The committee had previously conducted a study in 2004. The current committee was tasked with updating the plan, as well as incorporating elements of other plans, including the city’s Terminating Vista Plan; Public Arts Board Prioritized Site Locations plan; Parking Structure Signage Upgrade; and others.

Ecker said the committee’s review stressed the importance of a finalized design of the city’s logo, which should be updated throughout the city, including city vehicles, signs and other uses.

Plans for a new city logo were underway as far back as 2016, with a proposed city logo rejected in 2017. That logo, which was approved by the city commission, was designed by McCann Detroit and presented to the city in 2017. At the time, the city had set aside $5,000 for the project, which McCann had acknowledged wouldn’t cover the cost of the work. Rather, the firm created an internal design competition with the winning logo designer receiving the $5,000 as a stipend.

In June of 2017, McCann showed their results to the commission, which deemed them “a work in progress.” At the time, McCann recommended a design that included an icon of the Marshall Fredericks sculpture located in Shain Park. The words, “Birmingham: A Walkable City” in classic typeface was included. The former commission rejected the logo, saying it wasn’t identifiable to the city, while others said it was generic.

City commissioners on Monday unanimously approved the same logo that had been rejected years prior.

“It’s an excellent logo and the right rendition,” said commissioner Clinton Baller. “I’m pleased to move ahead on so many fronts. I support the logo and the wayfinding study.”

Mayor pro tem Pierre Boutros, who favored the same logo in 2017, said he was pleased to approve the new logo.

“My only comment is that I wish we would have done it, way back,” Boutros said.


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