City Council Votes 4-3 to Reject New U City Logo
The brand identity was revealed to the public March 4 and has been in use since then.
Three months after the City of University City's new brand identity was revealed at the Celebration of Diversity, the City Council voted 4-3 to reject the logo.
Council members Paulette Carr, Arthur Sharpe Jr, Terry Crow and Byron Price voted against continued use of the logo. Stephen Kraft, Michael Glickert and Mayor Shelley Welsch voted to keep the brand.
The vote means the city will stop using the new logo, including replacing new signs baring the logo with the older signs carrying the city's previous brand. Stationary, business cards and other materials will be phased out, as the city was phasing in the new logo when items needed to be reordered.
Carr, who raised the issue, looked into previous efforts to give the city a brand identity and a logo. The last change occurred in 1975-76 and Carr said her research indicated that the council voted to approve a recommended option after ideas went through the Municipal Commission on Arts and Letters, a public viewing and then brought back to the council.
"I'm puzzled that the council wasn't brought into the process," she said of the 2012 rebranding. "We as a council need to make a decision that this is our logo."
Carr said that precendent dictated the council should vote to approve or reject the logo.
"We as a body of seven need to make that decision," she said.
Price said he didn't like the move to put University City at the bottom of the logo and the new brand "Neighborhood to the World" at the top.
"What is that theme—Neighborhod to the World? What was trying to be expressed by that," he asked. "What I do know is that the previous logo I knew what that was. The city was highlighted."
Price also objected to the change in color scheme, arguing that the move away from black and gold moved the city logo farther away from the logo of the School District of University City, which also features the city's iconic lions' heads.
"There was a connection there," he said. "Now that brand is severed."
Former Council member Elsie Glickert addressed the council before its vote and said she could see both sides of the issue.
"I agree with both parties. I love the new logo," she said. "We are a neighborhood the the world. Walk around the Heman Park pool on a Sunday afternoon. You will hear languages from all over the world."
Despite her liking of the logo, Glickert said she felt the council should have been afforded a vote on it before it was unveiled to the public.
Mayor Welsch while she appreciated the opinion of those that spoke, the rebranding process was undertaken over a six month period and council could have spoken up during that time period and asked for information.
"No member of council did that," she said. "I think it would be wrong to back step from this now."
The rebranding was part of a $100,000 public relations contract with Avant Marketing Group. An estimated $39,000 of that $100,000 was spent on the rebranding process and $10,000 for new signs and banners.