From business cards to Web pages to trash cans, Minneapolis is moving closer to docking its current sailboat logo in favor of a refreshed look that continues to celebrate the "City of Lakes" moniker.
The makeover across virtually all things Minneapolis will "project a professional, cohesive image [and] helps the public trust that what they are receiving is truly from the city," according to a city Communications Department recommendation that is working its way toward the full the City Council in late March.
The current logo sports two overlapping sailboats, line-drawn, accompanied by the words "Minneapolis" and "City of Lakes." There are black and white versions, and also blue and white.
The proposed image goes to one sailboat — using two shades of blue and one of pea green — with a more sleek appearance. Also, the name "Minneapolis" is much larger than in the current logo.
The recommendation explains that updating the look, rather than devising an entirely new design, was the best course because "the public has known and recognized the existing logo for decades, [and] it is so strongly associated with our organization."
The proposal writer puts at ease the minds of the environmentally conscious, saying that staff would be "encouraged to use up their remaining supply" of printed materials with the two-boat logo.
As for city vehicles, trash cans and employee identification badges, the new design would be phased in as these items need replacing, the recommendation continues.
There would be some things around the city, namely manhole covers and certain signs, that would retain the current logo because of the "considerable cost" to replace, the proposal notes.
Speaking of cost, the proposal said that the full recommendation was developed solely by current city staff with "no additional costs incurred."
There's a fair chance that even if the old logo fades into retirement, it will remain visible to thousands of people every day in numerous highly traveled locations around town.
Last fall, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) installed 19 limestone structures that serve as gateway monuments to Minneapolis, Richfield and some of their freeway neighborhoods along Interstate 35W and Crosstown Hwy. 62. On 15 of those monuments is the blue and white version of the potentially doomed Minneapolis logo.
"No, we are not going to change the monuments," said MnDOT spokeswoman Bobbie Dahlke. "The city of Minneapolis is responsible for maintaining them, so it's up to them if they want to change them."
Dahlke said the city told MnDOT two years ago that it was "thinking about changing the logo, but at that time it was just an idea."
MnDOT asked city officials what the next logo might look like, Dahlke added, "and they said they didn't know, and that the idea of changing the logo had not even been brought up to the City Council. We could not wait."
Logo blowback in Austin
A new logo proposed last March for Austin, Minn. — meant to suggest the city's most famous export, Spam — drew so much heat that it got canned. The City Council unanimously voted against the can-shaped design after it was unveiled.
The logo, paired with the tagline "Talent Packed," was supposed to recall the classic product made by Hormel Foods Corp., but critics argued that it looked like a can of sardines. Residents also criticized the logo's focus on Hormel, its cost and that it was created by a Minneapolis-based marketing agency, rather than one of Austin's own.
The city had put $10,000 toward the "Talent Packed" logo's $58,000 price tag, which was also paid for by the visitors bureau, the Hormel Foundation and the Main Street Project.
Still standing is Austin's decades-old tree logo, which features the phrase, "Growing Together."