New logo effort stalls due to funding issues

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published February 24, 2016

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EASTPOINTE — The City Council’s effort to update the Eastpointe city logo has stalled after news that the design company Poggemeyer requested funding from the city to continue its work.

Department of Public Works Director Mary Van Haaren gave council an update Feb. 16 during its regular meeting. She explained that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation had approached the city last April about a “rebranding” effort that would update the city logo.

The MEDC would pay a design company to make a new logo based on input from the city’s officials and residents.

That company, Poggemeyer, held a branding workshop in the fall, which about 12 people attended, Van Haaren said. It then submitted 10 designs to the city in early December, at which point City Manager Steve Duchane and other staff members chose which ones to bring to City Council.

“At this point, they’ve kind of spent the money they’ve earmarked and allocated (from the MEDC),” Van Haaren said. “We had them do some revisions for us, but they’re not able to continue making changes to the logo without engaging us and charging the city for ongoing changes.”

She said that city officials held a conference call with the MEDC and Poggemeyer, where the MEDC confirmed that it had spent all the money it wanted to on the project, and that any additional changes would need to be funded by Eastpointe. At the meeting, Van Haaren said she did not know how much it would cost for Poggemeyer to work on one more design based on the council’s feedback at its previous meeting Feb. 2.

Councilman Cardi DeMonaco said that at this point, he saw no reason for the city to spend money on it. He did complain that none of the proposed logos brought before council took into account “half of the suggestions” from the workshop.

“We just had the four that were slightly different colors, and the church looking slightly different,” he said.

Van Haaren said Poggemeyer did listen to the community insofar that the proposals were similar to the existing logo, just “brightened up” and looking “fresher.” DeMonaco countered that the idea of a church being on the logo had been an issue for him and others in the community, some of whom were at the workshop. He had proposed putting something else in its place, like a schoolhouse.

Mayor Suzanne Pixley said she never heard anything publicly from the East Detroit Public Schools Board of Education about the logo. Pixley also wondered if the city should solicit new designs from local graphic designers.

“I heard some positive things from local people saying, ‘Why don’t you give us a chance to change the logo?’” Pixley said. “Graphic designers that probably have as much experience as Poggemeyer.”

DeMonaco said that is something the council can decide down the line just as long as the final result looks professional.

Duchane did not see it as a big issue if none of the proposals were accepted at this time.

“This started out as a free offer if we wanted to try it, and we tried it,” he said. “If there’s nothing further out of our pocket, then hey.”

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