Citizens comment on proposed new City “wordmark” (Result: Approved 22-Feb-2017)


Proposed new “wordmark”

(Epilogue: City Council approved the new “wordmark.” You can see the discussion on web video by going to the agenda for the meeting.)

Updated: On 22-Feb-2017, this topic was discussed and the “wordmark” adopted officially by Vancouver City Council this afternoon (Wednesday, February 22, 2017).

Visit this link for agenda and archive video. Below is an excerpt of the City staff report, followed by comments we received from Ian, a CityHallWatch reader.

vision-vancouver-priorities-logo-web-23-feb-2017We have also long-noted the similarity between the ruling party’s (Vision Vancouver) colours (see left, and the municipal government’s official colours. Until recently, Vision’s colours were absolutely identical to the City of Vancouver colours. A coincidence, or subliminal message?

From City staff report (PDF) for February 22, 2017: In 2006, Vancouver City Council adopted a visual identity program to help Vancouver’s citizens and businesses quickly and easily recognize the vast array of programs, services and information delivered to them by their municipal government. This consistent visual identity also made the City more approachable, and supported Vancouver’s reputation as one of the world’s most livable cities.

The City of Vancouver identified the opportunity in June 2016 to refresh its visual identity in light of changing city demographics, evolving popular culture including the increased reliance on social media for communication, and keeping pace with change. A simplified wordmark has been developed which presents an updated image of the City of Vancouver as a modern, innovative and highly desirable place to live and work. More:



Comments submitted to City Council 21-Feb-2017, from citizen Ian:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
3. New City Wordmark

I most strongly recommend you reject with prejudice the adoption of this proposal.
There is nothing particularly imaginative about this logo. It’s boring, uninspired and indistinct. There is nothing to suggest a sense of place.

A design of pure wording does not make it more friendly to non-English speakers compared to the current logo. The logo is also hard on the eyes.

What about the fact the green and blue shades are different to existing? The existing colours are much “friendlier”. Will structures and vehicles displaying the logo need to be repainted to match too?

Thankfully, the cost of this logo design is negligible. The cost is in plastering across the City, external and internal signage, letterheads and stationery. That will run into the hundreds of thousands. Who is getting that contract? Is that the “Economic Innovation” at work?

More importantly, where and what will display this logo and will it make the City and its services “easily recognizable”?

Will the logo also replace the existing Mayor’s logo (yes there is one), the COV Engineering logo (orange w/V), the Parks and Recreation logo (trees and mountains), the VPD logo, the VFRS logo (Fire Dept), the VPL logo(library), the greenest city tri-V logo (better than this idea)?

Per the “Visual Standards Guide”, slapping the wordmark beside every single other CoV departmental log does not create anything recognizable and does not provide a unifying imagery.

What about the City crest and everywhere that appears? Will the City next change the City flag to match too? Did I miss anything?

If the City wants an “easily recognizable” image, choose something distinctive with some sense of place like the existing dogwood logo or the tri-V logo and apply it or specific variants across the the full breadth of branded city services, not tacked onto the side of the existing logos.

There are far more productive outlets for the use the City’s money and Council and staff’s time.


2 thoughts on “Citizens comment on proposed new City “wordmark” (Result: Approved 22-Feb-2017)

  1. Vancouver City Council’s stewardship of our taxpayer dollars is appalling. The new city logo may have only cost $8,000 to design, but is cheap looking and totally unimaginative. Obviously, the ballot box is where we will voice our displeasure and hopefully effect change.

  2. Are you really complaining about an $8000 dollar expense for a wordmark? I worked at SFU when SFU paid almost a quarter of a million dollars just to get new lettering and “branding” for the letters “SFU”. $8000? That is essentially zero in any big institutional budget. $8000 is like one plane trip someplace for the mayor. It’s a remarkable bargain if you ask me. The city should be congratulated for paying so little for a new word mark. The normal amount is in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions for such rebranding.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s