Logo contest yields no ‘home runs’
West St. Paul’s logo may go back to the drawing board.
The West St. Paul City Council had to pick a winner of an online city-logo design contest at its work session Monday, but the top choice won’t actually replace the current logo, the blue star-like emblem that’s splashed throughout the city on signs, vehicles and police uniforms. The council instead directed staff to obtain proposals from design firms to possibly help the city freshen its branding.
“None of (the contest submissions) were a home run,” council member Dick Vitelli said.
Time for a change
Last summer, the council talked about exploring a new design.
Following city staff’s recommendation, the council in February pursued an online contest hosted by a company called 99designs. The global online marketplace had graphic artists enter logo designs for the chance to win a cash prize from the city.
The idea was to explore many options without having to hire many designers, according to city documents.
Council members offered some parameters on the elements, colors and style they wanted to see in its logo at a work session Feb. 10. According to the meeting minutes, the council wanted West St. Paul to be known for its “parks, business community, quality of life, family friendliness and location.”
Picking a ‘winner’
More than 100 entries from 15 different designers rolled in. Then, a committee of city staff, and community and council members narrowed them down.
The council reviewed six designs April 28 and picked one to win the prize, but still decided to go a different direction.
According to 99designs, the city paid $1,349 for the contest, which included gaining the rights to the top design. The winning designer, Agi Amri — a young architect and interior designer, according to his online profile — won a $685 prize.
No replacement yet
The most common image in the six finalists was St. Paul’s skyline, a detail that some of the council members didn’t want to highlight, despite West St. Paul’s proximity to the city.
Council member Dave Napier said it’s important that the logo reflect what West St. Paul is about, which, according to direction given to the designers online, may center around “connectedness.”
Council member Jenny Halverson said she’d like to see something more simple than the entries considered, such as just a “W.”
Although the city didn’t end up with a new logo, Halverson said the contest was still a cost-effective way to explore some options
“It was a very worthwhile endeavor. We found a lot of things that we don’t like,” said Halverson, who was part of the logo committee. “We were not thrilled with any of these designs.”
Staff will present proposals from design firms to the council as it considers possible next steps for the logo.
Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7815 and firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow her at twitter.com/KRobyNews.