Is Dunwoody’s logo a no-go?
Not just yet, it appears.
The budget that Mayor Mike Davis and City Manager Warren Hutmacher presented to City Council this year included a recommendation that the city spend $40,000 for a logo redo.
The reason? Well, in its short life, the city asterisk – yes, the city logo is the name “Dunwoody” with an asterisk – has had few fans and plenty of critics. Some residents just plain don’t like it.
“Do I think it’s the perfect brand to represent where our citizens are today? Perhaps not,” said city spokesman Bob Mullen, director of the city’s public relations department, which asked for and would oversee any logo redesign.
But members of the council’s budget committee decided three years was just too short a time to turn around and spend tens of thousands of dollars to come up with a new city logo.
“I never have liked the logo and I think there are a lot of people who agree,” said City Councilman Terry Nall, who wasn’t on the council when the present logo was adopted. “But I dislike spending money to change the logo just three years after council adopted it. I dislike that even more.”
The logo has stirred controversy since it was unveiled in October 2010. Some critics said it looked too corporate. Others complained it too closely resembled Walmart’s logo. Others criticized the city, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce for paying a reported $100,000-plus to an Atlanta marketing firm to develop the related logos the three groups use.
Then, just weeks after city officials launched the new city logo with the tagline “Smart people – Smart place,” they had to backpedal and replace it with one that said “Smart people – Smart city” instead. It turned out the city of Plano, Tex., already called itself a smart place.
Mullen said that if the city were to develop a new logo, he would want to include residents in the development of the design. “As long as you’re true to your mission and vision, your brand can evolve as you do,” Mullen said.
Nall agreed that the logo didn’t represent Dunwoody. “It doesn’t say anything about the heart and soul of Dunwoody — who we are, what makes us unique,” he said. “I’m not prepared to tell you what type of logo would, but I’m just saying this one didn’t do it.”
But he said the city shouldn’t junk the logo quite so soon, even if it is disliked.
“We’ve only had that logo for three years,” he said. “We all hate it, but it’s just being a good steward of money [not to get rid of it yet]. … The thought was that a logo ought to be around for five or six years.”