Menlo Park council settles on slight revision in logo

By Barbara Wood, Special to the Almanac

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 they've been using all along.

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

It turns out, Community Services Director Charise Brandell told the council, the city already has a signed contract with the design firm to do the additional work, which was initially approved by the council two years ago.

So council members, who had initially appeared ready to put an end to the project to modernize the city's graphic design standards, agreed on their favorite treatment of the existing logo. The logo will get a slight upgrade -- a new typeface and different organization of the lettering and be incorporated into the style guide.

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 when things need to be replaced or redesigned.

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 standards for materials they develop and spend staff time that would not be necessary with a set of standards for the look of city materials. "I would rather have us look more professional," he said.


Like this comment
Posted by Crap idea
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 15, 2014 at 4:31 pm

To the reporter: Are you sure that the City Council approved $48,000 expenditure for the logo? Easy enough to check the council meeting minutes from 2 years ago. What the council may have agreed to was a rebranding campaign, but they were blindsided by the $48,000 price tag for a new tree logo. In fact, they didn't even know a new logo was part of the deal..or the whole deal. The City Council only has to approve anything over $50,000. Sure would like to see that contract and the other bids for the project or evidence that the City Council was kept in the loop.

Like this comment
Posted by GoodEnough
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

The City is FULL of employees that have creative talents. I am quiet surprised that they didnt attempt to try to do this all inhouse. Why is the City constantly hiring unnecessary consultants?

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