He says the city’s seal will be used as a logo.
Frederick, Md (KM). Following strong community opposition, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said the city will not be using the logo developed as part of a branding initiative. During a news briefing Monday morning at City Hall, Mayor O’Connor said the city’s seal, featuring the Clustered Spires, will be used as a city logo.
“What we’ve learned is that our community feels so strongly about this image, that this can be the defining visual identity of the City of Frederick,” he said. “And as we move forward with anything relative to our branding, we can use the city seal as the reference in order to make that happen.”
The logo, which is a lower-case “f,” was developed by North Star of Jacksonville, Florida at a cost of $45,000 to the city. . The Mayor says it was part of a branding effort produced by the company.
But when it was introduced, the logo was not very well received by the public. Many didn’t like it, and others felt a local firm should develop a logo for the city, not an out-of-town company.
During Monday’s briefing, Mayor O’Connor was asked what the city was doing to recoup the money paid to North Star. “They delivered what their contract said they should deliver. The fact that the logo component was not aesthetically pleasing to the community–and I’ve made the decision to respond to that and pull it back–is not a reflection on the fact that North Star didn’t do what we paid them to do.”
But the Mayor said the city did receive a valuable service from North Star. “The logo was one small piece of this larger branding initiative, and the time that they spent with the focus groups in developing this brand strategy and helping to develop this strap line of ‘Join the Story,’ working with our internal creative team, none of that piece of this process has been lost,” he said.
In a recent appearance on WFMD’s “Morning News Express” with Bob Miller, Mayor O’Connor said the money for the branding process was already in the budget.
The Mayor acknowledged that the process didn’t go well, and apologized for that. “Our community cares passionately about this city,” he said. “Even in areas where we might think that that level of engagement seems minor, comparatively speaking, there’s nothing minor about anything that we do as a community.”
By Kevin McManus