Gilbert’s newly minted logo is leaving some residents scratching their heads or posting some pretty derisive comments such as “Looks like it was designed by a 1st grader” or “Looks like a PAC-MAN logo.”
Leading the charge is former mayoral candidate Matt Nielsen, who posted on his Facebook page that “the logo is bad.”
Nielsen in an email said he has talked with firefighters and family members of police officers who “don’t like the new logo.”
“I talked with several of these people who expressed that they would rather stay with the old logo or make another attempt at a redesign,” Nielsen said. “In fact, I have received anonymous emails from town employees asking me to speak out because they don’t want to wear this logo on uniforms, polos, etc.
“I get the impression that no one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings by saying what they really think,” he continued. “But this isn’t a personal attack against the team that created it. I think everyone knows this isn’t the best we can come up with after two years of effort, however. We can do better.”
Town staff worked on the new symbol for two years before presenting it to Council in October for approval.
Staff originally intended for the logo to be approved earlier for debut at the town’s Centennial celebration in July but the pandemic threw a wrench in the timeline.
Weeks after voting 6-1 to adopt the logo, Town Council decided to send it back for retweaking after some internal opposition.
In December, the full Council endorsed the revised symbol, which was slightly altered to look more like a “G” in Gilbert but still retained its vibrant color scheme.
The town in December gave the community a sneak peak of the logo with new tagline “Shaping a new tomorrow, today.”
A public launching of the logo was expected in the spring. It will replace the current logo, a circle with four swirls, likened to a toilet flush and shaped like a “G.”
“It’s challenging to introduce a new brand for any organization or community,” said Town Manager Patrick Banger in a statement to the Gilbert Sun News.
“And while some people may not be fans right now, we ask that you give us some time to show you how this brand and tagline of ‘shaping a new tomorrow, today’ will allow us to feature all of the incredible work that Team Gilbert, residents and businesses do every day to shape our community.”
According to staff, “the new branding pays homage to Gilbert’s heritage while focusing on our commitment to progress and innovation.”
But that’s not what Dan Biegler saw.
“Time, money and collective brain power were put into this project,” Biegler said on Nielsen’s Facebook page. “Core values are supposed to be projected through this image. So, it is meant to say something. But when I look at it, I honestly cannot see what it’s trying to tell me.”
And Russell Brown said the logo “doesn’t seem to have any principles of branding that would be applied by a proper professional. It’s amateur stuff.”
Debbora Woods-Schmitt said she is a marketer and didn’t understand what the new logo is suppose to convey.
“How much of our tax dollars went into this for the last two years,” she asked.
Brian McAllister said he was not a fan of the new look and that it reminded him of the Google’s logo but more abstract.
“I see no ‘old-town charm’ with this,” he said.
Nielsen said he’s not a designer and wouldn’t assume that he could do better.
“But, like many people I’ve talked with, I agree that the Gilbert logo should reflect Gilbert’s history and the things that make our town unique and attractive,” he said, adding:
“Having worked with artists and designers over the course of decades, I know that an attractive, tasteful, and modern logo that embodies the spirit of Gilbert can be designed.
“It would be a shame for our town employees and first responders to have this logo on their shirts, cars, trucks, street signs and more for the 20 years. I hope the Town Council reconsiders this, even if only for the sake of our town employees.”