'Fiasco from day one': Vancouver ditches plan to update logo
Published Thursday, January 11, 2018 6:14PM PST Last Updated Thursday, January 11, 2018 7:11PM PST
Nearly a year after the city made headlines for the cost of a new logo, Vancouver has scrapped its plan for an upgrade altogether.
Outgoing Mayor Gregor Robertson was the driving force behind the wordmark unveiled last February: a simplified version of the current logo with a bolder font and an $8,000 price tag.
The reason behind the redesign? City staff said the lotus logo adopted by the city more than 10 years ago was too busy to be legible in small formats such as cellphone screens.
Robertson said he personally liked the new design.
"I think it's bolder and brighter and cleaner. I think it will serve our city well for the immediate future," he said during a council meeting at the time.
He called the current logo "lame" and "bland… with a squiggly thing on it that really doesn't mean anything to anyone."
The plan, if approved, was to phase in the new logo as old signs and other marked items wear out, but a week before the logo was officially approved by council, it was already in use on city letterhead and other paper products.
And as the public got a glimpse of the new design – which, by government standards was a project with a relatively low budget – questions were raised about whether the city was getting its money's worth.
The new logo uses a font that is easily accessible through programs like Microsoft Word, and was nearly identical to the logo adopted by the City of Chilliwack in 2010.
"My eight-year-old could do that," one critic told CTV News at the time.
And a city councillor said she wondered why the design wasn't done in-house if it was so easy to recreate.
The graphic design community spoke out on social media both in favour and against the design, and dozens signed an open letter asking the city to re-examine its process before finalizing its decision.
The mayor changed his tune, saying the city would "take a pause" on the plan and consult with the professional design committee before moving forward. The new logo was scrapped, and the city announced that it would work with members of the B.C. chapter of Graphic Designers of Canada to come up with more options.
City staff said the new designs would then be brought to the public in the fall for a vote, but that never happened.
This week, Non-Partisan Association Coun. George Affleck said he'd been told that the logo decision had been "put on the backburner for… indefinitely."
The city said the public did not want more money spent on logo development, and that there was not enough time or money available for the process during the council term.
In a statement, staff said "the advice from the design community was to proceed only if it was properly resourced and part of a more comprehensive brand design, which could not be a rushed process."
The statement said there are currently no plans to proceed with further work.
"Which is good news to me because this was a fiasco from day one, which I voted against. Why are we doing this? What is the point? What are the costs?" Affleck said.
"What was the problem with the logo we have?"
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Shannon Paterson