Vancouver’s mayor continues to face a barrage of questions, even after issuing a statement last night the city was hitting pause on its new wordmark
Gregor Robertson had said the City of Vancouver’s controversial new logo, which came in at $8,000 to design but would cost much more to roll out, would be put on hold.
But questions from the media on the logo still followed, and Robertson bristled at questions on what kind of consultation had gone into the rebrand, or whether council had lost touch with voters.
“Seriously? … This is the most absurd line of questioning I think I’ve ever heard in my years as mayor. We tweaked the wordmark, so the city’s visual presence is stronger online where most people see it now. We’re going to make some changes to that.”
Robertson says when citizens and designers came forward wanting more input, and pressing pause on the logo rollout was the city’s response.
“We’re elected to make decisions like that. When we heard back from citizens, designers in particular, that they would like to see more input and different changes, we responded to that.”
He says the city is more focused on issues like the affordable housing, transit investments, and the overdose crisis.
LISTEN: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson bristles at logo questions
The new logo, designed by Vancouver firm Hangar 18, was approved at a council meeting last week following a procurement process in which the city selected the pitch from the lowest bidder.
The city had said the “refreshed wordmark” was to be the first step in larger plan to “refresh Vancouver’s visual identity.”
But it drew immediate criticism from two directions. On one side, opponents including opposition NPA councillors attacked the price tag of the design and presumed logo rollout.
Meanwhile, others – including dozens of posters on social media, attacked the wordmark’s ultra simple text based design as “bland” and uninspired.
That criticism was particularly pointed from the city’s design community.
Hundreds of creative workers signed their name to an open letter complaining the choice to go for the cheapest and simplest option failed in terms providing a vision for the city, ignored consultation, and was an affront to an industry in a city trying to market itself as a digital and design hub.
Yesterday, they mayor conceded “there have been some compelling cases raised about why a different approach is needed,” and pledged to press pause on the rollout while it consulted with design stakeholders.
With files from Simon Little