Visalia kicks off contest for city logo redesign

Presentation on City of Visalia’s past logos at the Visalia City Council meeting on May 20, 2024.(Rigo Moran)

Visalia establishes previous 1998 logo as “legacy logo,” takes new logo back to the drawing board with design competition that is open to the public

VISALIA – Over the last several years, the City of Visalia has been working to craft a new logo to improve recruitment, but the public reaction to the selected design has sent the plan back to the drawing board. Now, the city is focusing efforts on reaching out to Visalians for input, design ideas and concepts after hearing from dozens of citizens who said the city failed to reach out properly during the last redesign.

On June 17, the city council adopted a plan to open a design competition to the public that will ultimately result in a new logo. Additionally, the council has made the decision to retain the former logo as a “legacy logo.” The window to start submitting designs for the logo opened on June 18, and submissions will be accepted through July 2.

A design committee will be established by the council that will be composed of individuals from the arts community, people with experience working with logos, media and communications people, and others who are familiar with the use of logos. The design committee will be made up of five people, with each council member selecting a representative. The committee will begin the process of narrowing down submissions on July 8 with the goal of identifying five designs.

Between July 15 and 26, the community will be invited to weigh in on which designs they like the most. The council will then vote on a new logo on Aug. 5.

The council set certain parameters for anyone interested in designing a new logo for the city. Submissions must be in both black and white and in color, and must include at least two colors and no more than five colors. Allison Mackey, communications director for Visalia, cautioned that designers must be aware that in an instance where a design uses two different shades of the same color, it will be counted as one color. The logo design should also be versatile and scalable.

Other instructions include that the design must feature “Visalia,” must be original artwork and should use the “strong V” shape featured in both the Legacy Logo and the now-defunct redesign. The city website now includes a tab for “Brand Refresh” that staff uses to help keep Visalians up to date on the process.

Submissions will be assigned a number and designers will need to sign a waiver that discloses certain rights and responsibilities, including the terms of ownership. Should the city select an artist’s work, that logo will become the property of the city. Rejected submissions will remain the property of the artists. The redesign committee will be tasked with identifying an award, prize or compensation for the winning selection.

The primary reason the city decided to rebrand the logo to begin with was in an effort to improve recruitment to fill open positions. According to city staff, attracting outside talent is essential to fill some of the open positions in the city.

We The Collective, a branding firm based in Irvine, was selected to complete the rebrand including producing 1,200 “deliverables” that range from marketing materials to updated descriptions. This work was initially done through the Human Resources Department at an initial cost of $75,000. Once that part of the process was finished, We The Creative used focus groups to help determine a new logo.

While an effort was made to get public opinion, the message failed to reach many residents. Only around 150 residents responded to requests for polls on logo designs. We The Creative also got feedback from community stakeholders including various department managers and people employed through Kaweah Health.

As part of the new effort, local artists are being encouraged to participate in the creation of a new logo. We The Creative will not be involved in the effort. The city council decided at the June 3 meeting to scrap the redesigned logo and use two logos. The “legacy logo” will be used in large formats where the intricate details can be seen while a new logo will be used on smaller projects such as black-and-white print and on city uniforms.

Visalia has used at least six logos since 1948. Poochigian proposed that the designs be showcased at the new Civic Center once it is constructed as a way to honor the legacy of Visalia and pay homage to the individuals who crafted the various logos.

Start typing and press Enter to search