Sterling officials stand by logo rollout

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published March 4, 2015


STERLING HEIGHTS — A new shield-shaped logo representing the city of Sterling Heights continued to endure blows from some residents, while some city officials defended it at a Feb. 17 City Council meeting.

In late January, the city unveiled a new logo created by a consulting firm called Identity Creative. The company described the logo as a blue-and-green Reuleaux triangle with a river-shaped curve that resembles both an “S” and an “H.” The logo came with a new slogan of “Innovating Living” to reflect the city’s vision for the year 2030.

However, some residents have protested the decision to replace the old logo. They have criticized the new logo’s aesthetics, its unveiling in January, and the expenses that they say could come with replacing it.

At the Feb. 17 meeting, resident Linda Godfrey said she filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the contract with Identity Creative.

Godfrey raised the possibility of associated logo expenses and criticized the council for not asking that each project being proposed as part of the city’s 2030 vision be segregated and voted on independently.

“You based the need for a 2.5-mill increase for police, fire and safe roads. And what are you doing?” she asked.

“Yes, you are swearing in six new officers for our PD, but yet you’re going to turn around and you’re going to spend frivolously, in my opinion — maybe $5,000 per rug replacement at the Police Department — to put your new Girl Scout emblem on.”

Another public speaker, Dolores Hanton, said she would’ve preferred that local students be tasked with creating a new logo. She also praised the previous logo, a rectangular one that combined an “S” and an “H.”

“Our logo has served us well,” she said. “It is recognized by all, and it’s our history. … Why don’t you make us proud, admit a mistake has been done — take back the logo, this ugly logo.”

City Manager Mark Vanderpool said the Visioning 2030 plan was approved by the City Council last June and was public and transparent.

He said the logo was part of the effort to market and develop the rollout of their Visioning 2030 campaign.

He said the contract with Identity Creative was for $7,500, which is below the $10,000 threshold that requires formal bidding.

He added that the council-approved 2030 project included in its short-term actions the branding and marketing of the 2030 vision.

“And that’s what we’ve been doing with the consultant that everyone has been talking about,” he said. “They were utilized to help us through the marketing, developing the plan, to showcase our 2030 effort.”

Vanderpool said city logos come, go and evolve over time. He also said the logo rollout’s expenses will be gradual, and the added expenses will be nil on many things — such as signs and vehicle decals — that are produced in-house on an as-needed basis.

He added that the logo’s introduction on the city website was also free.

“We’re doing it in a very affordable and cost-effective way,” he said.

Councilwoman Barbara Ziarko said people’s impressions of logos can change over time.

“I have to tell you that some of the people that told me they didn’t like the logo in the beginning saw it on a letterhead and they’ve changed their mind,” she said. “That’s something else that … we listen to.”

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