Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Of Ugly Logos and Local Talk

Want to direct your attention to a couple of blog posts recently posted by my friends Daniel Klotz and Kelly Watson regarding Lancaster, PA's recently announced "rebranding," and specifically the lunacy surrounding our fair city's new logo.  Klotz provides a comprehensive timeline that should bring everyone up to date; Watson delved a bit deeper into the logo's *ahem* pedigree, and later gave the design firm that was contracted to create the logo a chance to be heard.

I don't have much to add to their words; among those three posts the story to date is covered efficiently.  I will say that, regardless of where it came from, the new logo is just plain ugly, more befitting the Lancaster that built the concrete monstrosity known as the Brunswick Mall than of a Lancaster that has been casting its hopes for present-day cultural significance among the arts crowd centered around Pennsylvania College of Art and Design and Gallery Row downtown.

As my hometown continues its futile straw grasping in search of some sort of salable identity with which to draw people back into downtown life, I continue to be astounded at, frankly, the stupidity of it all.  For instance, I have yet to have anyone satisfactorily explain to me what "A city authentic" actually means; I do know a city that would splat a cookie-cutter Marriot Hotel within the gutted facade of the beautiful, unique, 100+ year old Watt & Shand building may be a lot of things, but "authentic" isn't one of them.

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  1. Didn't Maxwell Smart walk through that logo during the intro to "Get Smart!"? - JP

  2. I think Lancaster has done an admirable job in luring folks back downtown. Take a look at downtown York and Harrisburg. They would LOVE the bustling, cosmopolitan feel that downtown Lancaster has. (All Harrisburg has is a long stretch of bars/clubs/restaurants, not a mix of businesses, artisans and food establishments.)

    And as a person who was not at all happy about the convention center, the W&S building sat empty and dilapidated for a decade. The convention center was the only VIABLE plan put forward for the building. For all the talk of retails spaces and condominiums...well it was all just talk. There were no serious proposals put forward. I really wish there was a lot less government money involved in the convention center, but it is nowhere near as bad as it could be.

    I'm not crazy about this "logo" or the branding campaign that goes along with it. I love how people are talking about how this "logo" was "designed/developed" by a sign shop. Not a big shock. It's a dingbat from a $28 font. Not terribly "authentic" if you ask me. But Lancaster's dandified chucklehead of a mayor says that he thinks it's authentic because he thinks it's authentic. Great.

  3. It would be great to run something (I hate to say contest but don't know what else to call it) where the talented artists in our city had the chance to put forth their ideas about what a new logo ang tag line for Lancaster should be...