He wishes the public could have become more involved earlier in the process.
Frederick, Md (KM). Frederick City officials have been hearing very loudly the public’s displeasure over the process of developing a logo for the city. In a recent interview on WFMD’s “Morning News Express” with Bob Miller, Mayor Michael O’Connor says he’s listening. “And I feel really bad that this process has people thinking that we’re not interested in that because we absolutely are. And I’m hearing loud and clear the community’s feedback on this process that we went through. It is not falling on deaf ears. I can assure you of that,” he says.
The logo is a lower case “f” with the colors blue, red, green and yellow to pay homage to the different aspects of the city’s character.
When it was introduced, members of the general public were not happy with the process of developing the logo, and many questioned the need for one.
Mayor O’Connor says he wished he could have gotten the public more involved in the process of deciding what type of logo to use, or whether one was really needed at all. “There are probably interim checkpoints in this process where It would have behooved the city to take the work that had been completed at that point back out to the community to get a temperature change,” he said. “‘How do you feel about this? Are we headed in the right direction? Are we moving the way we should?'”
The logo was designed by North Star out of Jacksonville, Florida. Some citizens have criticized the city’s administration for not seeking a local firm for the job. “The loss, I think, in this process is the perception that because the firm wasn’t from Frederick, they really didn’t understand Frederick,” he says. “But the beginning of this process involved that firm talking to more than 100 people about Frederick to try and understand who we were.”
The criticism about the process also includes the cost, which was $45,000. But the Mayor said that money was already in the budget. It the amount was $50,000 or more, it would require approval from the Board of Aldermen.
Instead of a request for proposals from various companies providing services to the city, the Mayor says a request for qualifications was sent out, which describes the city’s process and the outcome, and how will the respondents fulfill those requirements. He says the city received 21 responses ranging from $22,000 to $197,000.
Mayor O’Connor also says the process didn’t start out with designing a logo. “I can’t stress this enough that what we were looking for was a firm that had experience in creating brand identity, a branding program. And that was an effort to look at the disparate universe of things that the city produced, and trying to unify them,” he says.
As for the future of the logo: “We’re evaluating whether we need the logo or don’t need the logo in order to have gotten value out of that branding process, which is, again, about creating unified messaging and unified pictures of the kinds of things that the city produces. Frankly, that can be done with the logo or without,” Mayor O’Connor says. “We’re looking at what our options are.”
But the Mayor says the city seal which features the Clustered Spires will never go away.
By Kevin McManus