Sixteen years after the Redlands last changed the logo, city leaders are changing it again.
The shock comes amid other major changes in the city: the acquisition of buildings for the Safety Hall and the new City Hall, the revival of passenger trains in the city center on the upcoming Arrow Line, and the slate of new structures, including downtown. Redevelopment of Redlands Mall site.
After less than 20 minutes of discussion, the City Council unanimously instructed the staff on June 7 to draw up a plan with less than 2006 controversy over the logo used for 43 years to implement the new logo. The change was prompted by a defeated ballot from the American Civil Liberties Union to legally challenge the Christian cross on the logo and to place a religious symbol.
The logo was changed on the city’s Facebook page on Monday, June 13th. Initial reviews were mixed.
Mayor Paul Barrich said he proposed putting the logo on the agenda at last week’s meeting because he did not like the logo the city uses.
“I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder because it’s not beautiful to me,” he said of the previous logo, which he also called “mundane.”
That image was adapted from the design of the tiles on the floor of the old city hall, the orange garland wrapped around the mission towers.
Many suggested a modified version of the symbol used in 2013 to mark the city’s 125th anniversary. The image, created by local business owner Richard Pennington, features a local designer’s Santa Fe Depot, orange branch and “R. On the hill above the city.
Barrich said he paid Pennington for the restructuring and that no city money was used.
“I think it’s like Redlands because it’s Redlands,” Barry said of his proposal.
Looking at the logos for other cities, he added, they all represent “something directly related to the city.”
Councilman Mick Gallagher called the proposed logo “beautiful.” He noted that he was in the council when the logo was last changed, and that the “problem” associated with it was that the movement to change it was instantaneous.
Councilwoman Jenna Guzman-Lowry called the new design a “beautiful presentation representing parts of the Redlands,” but wanted to see the official process for creating the logo.
“It’s important that we have a conversation, because that represents our city,” Guzman-Lowry told colleagues. “From a business perspective, when corporations and brands go through the process of creating a logo, a lot of creativity and money goes into that process because it makes sense, and it sends a message to people. Understand the city or related to it.
Councilwoman Dennis Davis said she liked what was presented on the current logo, but she expressed concern about what people heard.
Davis read a letter from Margo Mullen, a graphic designer and chairman of the city’s Cultural Arts Commission, who said the proposed logo looked like a painting and was too detailed to make a good logo.
Mullen suggested the city work with the design team on branding redesign to “be able to develop a logo and branding identity with the city interacting with the Redlands community.”
Davis noted that rearranging and replacing images where they are found can be costly and asked if the cost is estimated.
City Manager Charlie Duggan said he did not yet have a cost estimate and suggested that if the council wanted to change the logo, it could instruct staff to create an implementation plan over time so that equipment with the old logo would come online with a new logo as it retires.
The council complied with his suggestion.
“I think it represents (the city) well,” Barich told colleagues of the new design, “especially when the train is approaching. It’s a train station, we have an R, we have the last orange in town.” That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. “