An informal committee in Town Hall will review and make recommendations on how to use Gilbert’s new logo, which was adopted late last year.
Council directed Town Attorney Patrick Banger at last Tuesday’s meeting to form the internal committee comprising of Councilman Scott September and employees from police, fire, parks and other key departments.
“Now that it is rolling out more and more, we need to get a handle on it,” said Mayor Brigette Peterson, who was not on the Council when the logo was approved and is not a fan of the symbol.
“I think all of us will agree that there have been instances where the logo have popped up that we’ve been surprised in how it’s been used. And so that leaves me to believe staff isn’t sure how it’s supposed to be used.”
She also took note of the public ridicule the logo has received on social media.
“Right now, there are four threads about it,” Peterson said. “We have to stop that somehow. There has to be some direction and I don’t think there has been enough direction on this. I want to stop being surprised where it’s being used and how it’s being used in the community.”
It took two years for town staff to design the new logo, which was presented to the 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 the Council voted 6-1 to adopt the new brand, it decided to send it back for minor tweaks after some internal opposition.
At Tuesday’s meeting Peterson also said she would support September’s proposal to remove a 15-foot-tall town logo on the north wall of the newly opened Public Safety Training Facility building and relocate it elsewhere.
September said he noticed the logo during the May 19 dedication and found it distracting. He said he couldn’t think of any other town building with a logo that large or with such prominence.
“Town logos change time to time,” September said. “This logo will be around for 10-15 years and then we will have another logo. I don’t know it’s the best idea to keep changing 15-foot logos on our buildings.”
September said he has no problem with the logo itself but that the wall should be left blank or the town could allow public safety to come up with its own design. Fire and Police are using their own logos.
Vice Mayor Yung Koprowksi recommended tabling September’s proposal and moving forward with the committee, which will come back with a larger policy that includes the use of the logo on the training facility.
So far, the brightly colored logo can be seen on the Town’s website, documents and even some street signs.
Town spokeswoman Kelsey Perry said the logo will go on assets as they need replacing.
“The street signs are being replaced on our regular replacement schedule based on their condition, and it will take many years to completely replace all of the sign,” Perry said in an email. “We currently have 14 intersections that are being replaced with our funding from Fiscal Year 2022.”
She said $83,000 has been allocated toward replacing deteriorated, lighted street signs.
“We will be following the same process with other items as well, such as the monogram on the vehicles,” she said. “New vehicles are getting the new monogram, but older vehicles will keep the old monogram until the vehicle is replaced.”
She said the town waited until the end of the year – after the new branding was adopted – to make certain purchases so that it could use the new logo, knowing that it would take many years to phase out the old branding.
The old brand was a swirl that many likened to a “toilet flush.”
Peterson hoped a use policy will help stem the negative social media comments on the logo.
For now, residents on social media are ridiculing the new logo, many unclear what it’s suppose to represent.
According to the Town, the abstract “G” monogram incorporates colors inspired by Arizona’s sunsets – “fun, bold and represent our vibrant community.”
“The logo and branding can mean different things to different people just as Gilbert means different things to different people in our community,” read a statement on the Town website.
Many posts on social media called the logo “ugly,” “embarrassing,” “cheap” and “uninspired.”
Some said it looked like a rip-off of the “Google G that they use for 4G” and “Peter Piper Pizza’s symbol.”
Others were harsher in their assessments.
Other comments included “old lady with a walker,” “A red Pac-Man and a blue Pac-Man kissing in the sunlight,” and “A blond person going to the toilet.”
And one man wrote: “They could have paid my 6-year-old, blind -folded her and had her draw with her foot and got a better result.”
People also said the town should have let people residents vote on a new symbol or have a contest for a high school art student do the design.
“This new logo represents nothing of what Gilbert is or came from,” a woman said. “It tells nothing of the history of Gilbert. It erases all history. Gilbert has strong roots and this logo ignores all of it. I actually find it very disrespectful. And it’s ugly as hell.”