City’s sailboat logo to run aground?

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For more than 50 years, Minneapolis has been proudly sporting its blue sailboat logo above its “City of Lakes” moniker on all official material. But a storm is brewing that may scuttle the old logo in favor of something more modern.

“The sailboat is somewhat outdated,” City Council president Barbara Johnson told the Ways and Means Committee last week. She’s pushing the council to work with the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association (GMCVA) on a new image for the city.

That news came as some surprise to council members Sandra Colvin Roy and Betsy Hodges, who would like to use the city’s seal instead of its logo on their business cards, but aren’t crazy about the idea of spending money on redesigning the city’s image via a new logo. “I’m against any investment in this,” said Colvin Roy.

Trouble is, there’s an obscure city policy that prohibits city employees from using the seal on business cards, and Hodges said she doesn’t want to “feel like a rogue” for substituting the seal for the now increasingly maligned sailboat.

“If there’s a policy, we can change that policy,” Johnson said.

City coordinator Steven Bosacker explained that the city had not budgeted any money for changing its logo, but that certain city officials had been talking with GMCVA officials, who have raised “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in private money to study new ways to brand the city. “There’s been a collective conversation happening about whether it was time to make the switch,” he admitted.

Johnson agreed that the city shouldn’t spend a lot of money on changing logos, but argued that the council could “build on” the GMCVA’s efforts.

But Colvin Roy said she wasn’t comfortable with the process and didn’t know who was involved. Besides, she noted, branding the city is not necessarily the same thing as “selling hotel rooms.”

She moved that the committee approve the use of the city seal instead of the sailboat logo and reject the idea of any new branding, but the measure was voted down on a 3–2 vote.

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