What Do You Think?
Raleigh’s new city logo was unveiled last month and reviews from the public were mixed, to say the least. Fans praised the sleek, minimalist leaf design and eye-catching hodgepodge of greens and circular and rectangular shapes. Critics called the logo boring, corporate-looking, non-symmetrical and, well, curiously lacking in oaks. Bashing of the logo’s $226,000 price tag—with $86,000 paid to an out-of-state consulting company for research and the rest to local designers at The Assembly— was nearly unanimous and some variation of “my kid could have done this for free” was one of the more common responses to the logo’s unveiling on Twitter. Regardless of where we fall on this latest iteration of a symbol for the city, Raleigh’s logo is likely here to stay for a while; love it or hate it, we might as well all get used to it.
Try Your Hand: Locals Create Logos
If you’re one of the Raleighites who was disappointed by the city’s new logo, or the process the city used to come up with the design, here’s your chance to try to do better.
Zack Medford, owner of downtown bars Isaac Hunters and Paddy O’Beers and founder of the Great Raleigh Trolley, just launched the Great Raleigh Citizen Logo Contest to give Raleigh residents an opportunity to get their own creative juices flowing. Medford says he’s gotten a lot of interest already, ranging from a teacher and her fifth grade class to an artist inquiring about painting the winning logo as a mural onto a downtown building.
“This is about citizen engagement,” Medford says. “There was a piece missing in the city’s process and people are excited about the contest because they want to to have a voice and be heard. There are so many creative voices in Raleigh.”
Here’s how the contest works: you, your child or a group of friends design your own logo that captures why you love Raleigh. Once it’s finished, submit the design to the contest’s website with a brief description. A committee of community leaders and thinkers will choose the winning logo design early next year, and contest organizers will sell T-shirts emblazoned with the logo and donate the proceeds to an organization that fosters artists and designers in Raleigh communities.
The contest winner(s) will receive a $250 cash prize, a $250 donation to a charity of their choice, and a Great Raleigh gift box full of goodies from local merchants. In February, the winning logo design will go before the Raleigh City Council.
Medford says the winning design is not intended to replace the logo the city already settled on in any way, but he hopes the city and other organizations will embrace the citizen-designed logo alongside the official one. Though Medford says he understands that professional designers work hard and deserve to be compensated, he says he’s excited to get people thinking about what they love about Raleigh and reaching talented people who may not be arts and design insiders.
“It will be cool to see some different options and it’s a fun way to build citizen engagement,” he says. “Raleigh is unique for having such a creative community. We have a world class design school at NC State, incredible artists and graphic designers. Why not open it up to everyone?”
Find out more about the Great Raleigh Citizen Logo Contest and submit your entry at greatraleigh.com before Dec. 20. Winners will be chosen Jan. 3 and the winning design goes before Raleigh’s City Council Feb. 6.