Almanac

News - January 22, 2014

Menlo Park council settles on slight revision in logo

by Barbara Wood

In December, Menlo Park City Council members rejected all the new designs for a city logo that had been prepared at a cost of $24,000, and asked to keep the current 1960s-era oak tree the city has been using all along.

At its Jan. 14 meeting, the council nonetheless decided to spend another $24,000 to have the same contractor, 2Sisters Design of Redwood Shores, come up with a "style guide" for standardizing the city's use of graphics, including that venerable tree logo.

It turns out, Community Services Director Cherise Brandell told the council, the city already has a signed contract with the design firm to do the additional work.

So council members, who had initially appeared ready to put an end to the logo redesign effort, agreed instead to revising the existing logo, which will get a slight upgrade courtesy of a new typeface and reorganization of the lettering.

Ms. Brandell did promise the council that a huge amount of money won't be spent changing all the city's signs, stationery and brochures. Instead, the new style guide will be used to update materials as they need to be replaced.

City Manager Alex McIntyre gave his strong support for the redesign effort, especially the style guide. "We put out crap," he said. "We look like an unprofessional organization."

City departments, he said, do not have unified design guidelines for materials they develop and therefore spend staff time that could be put to better use if Menlo Park had standards. "I would rather have us look more professional," he said.

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