Here, on an overhead screen, is what the Albany City Council looked at on Monday: the old city government logo on the left, and the redesigned new one on the right.
The logo appears on stationery, reports, business cards and so forth. The old one has been around for 20 or 30 years, and when it was new it no doubt looked pretty slick. But as Communications Officer Marilyn Smith told the council — and me later — the bridge looks more like a bed frame (a headboard, more likely, to me) and what’s supposed to be trees resembles a mushroom cloud. The light lines and custom fonts made the image difficult to scale down.
Matt Harrington works for the city in information technology and has a background in graphic design and fine art. He came up with the new logo design using the same elements but bringing them up to date, without the fussiness of the original. Now you can recognize the Ellsworth Street Bridge, and the evergreens resemble the big old Doug firs can you find around Albany’s historic neighborhoods.
As somebody in the audience at Monday’s council work session noted with appreciation, Harrington created a good-looking and appropriate logo without a lot of process, no expensive consultants, no prolonged design competition, just quick and efficient work. Council members seemed to like it too.
The new one won’t replace the original all at once. Marilyn Smith explained: “Our plan is to first replace the old logo where it’s easiest to do — online; on templates for stationery, memos, agendas, reports, and presentations; on business cards for new employees; and email signatures. It will be applied to the non-public-safety vehicle fleet over time and will show up on non-public-safety staff work clothes as new items are ordered or replaced.”
To me, Harrington’s design looks brisk, clear, and purposeful. Which in a city administration is exactly what you want. (hh)