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After less than a year, city of Las Vegas dumps flashy logo

Updated August 11, 2017 - 5:33 pm

Victoria Hart almost didn’t submit the dark pink logo as a contender for the city of Las Vegas’ new emblem — she worried it was too playful and fun to represent city government.

Ten months and $20,000 later, city officials agree.

The flashy logo that’s become the city’s official symbol since its October unveiling has been scrapped by City Hall. Now it’s back to the traditional city seal.

“A fun logo, and that’s what it is, doesn’t carry with it the gravity the city seal does,” City Manager Scott Adams told the Review-Journal on Thursday. “We need to have a unified, consistent brand and message.”

Although she wondered whether the “dusty rose” script she submitted was too playful, Hart said “it really did capture the essence of glam Vegas that is so entrenched in our history. It felt modern but retro at the same time.”

Not completely gone

When Hart’s design was unveiled last year, the plan wasn’t to retire the city seal altogether. The seal depicting a southern Nevada scene of a jet cruising over tall silver buildings, the Hoover Dam, a Joshua Tree and a setting sun, still prominently marks City Council chambers and much of the city’s vehicle fleet.

But having competing brands created confusion, and some city officials questioned whether the flashy pink logo was professional enough for official government business.

“It is a bit of a disappointment,” Hart said. “We spent a long time working on it and I really followed the creative briefs and did what they asked for.”

Hart’s design took about six weeks and was crafted in response to the city’s stipulations: “iconic, timeless, progressive, modern, fresh and exciting with a nod to the glamorous era of yesterday.”

More than 20 designers submitted logos to the city, and residents were surveyed on their preferences.

It cost the city roughly $20,000 to develop and trademark. The price tag includes $10,000 to develop the logo, including $4,500 to the designer. The city paid another $2,000 for the trademark, $1,500 to launch the online store and more than $5,000 to the research firm Applied Analysis to conduct a community survey where some of the questions dealt with the potential future logo, Communications Director David Riggleman said.

It took months for the city to develop the new logo that was official for 10 months, but it won’t go the way of razed Las Vegas casinos and disappear entirely — the logo will still be stamped on merchandise in the city’s online store.

Making the switch

Councilman Ricki Barlow began questioning publicly in May whether the logo looked official enough to represent government business.

“I wanted the seal to remain in place — that’s who we are,” Barlow said this week. “It sets us apart as a municipality.”

Since then, a series of internal discussions led Adams to make the call to drop the logo, which he announced in an email to city staff this week. The transition is under way — city staff email signatures had the pop of pink on Monday, but were back to the monochromatic blue seal and text by Wednesday. The logo adorns signs, promotional materials, work attire, staff business cards, email signatures, vehicles and equipment.

Adams doesn’t estimate there will be much of a cost to the city to transition back to the seal because the city will re-brand things like equipment and city vehicles as they’re retired and replaced, Adams said.

Many city vehicles weren’t rebranded with the logo and still bear the city seal. Part of the confusion came from the seal staying in play after the new pink logo was introduced.

Two city staffers handed business cards to one Chinese businessman — one with the logo, and one with the seal — leading him to ask if there are two cities of Las Vegas, Adams said.

“We’re out there globally more than any other city of our size,” Adams said. “We can’t have that kind of confusion in the world marketplace.”

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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