8 grand for simple sign

UPDATE: Wednesday 5 p.m.

A new City of Vancouver logo that shocked one councillor with its child-like simplicity was approved Wednesday.

During the meeting, Coun. Melissa De Genova wondered why the design would cost the city $8,000, saying it looked like it was created in Microsoft Word.

The city has had the same logo for more than 10 years. The goal of the new design was to create a new brand that is easily recognizable.

"It was a process, rather than a selection of a font. We played with a lot of options," director of corporate communications Rena Kendall-Craden told CTV Vancouver.

She added the selection was made from "about eight to 14 options" put forward to staff.

Craden said this option gives the city the most flexibility.

ORIGINAL: Tuesday 7:45 p.m.

A Vancouver city councillor is stunned a new sign will cost the city $8,000.

"With all due respect to the designer, it appears that they went, found a font and typed it out, and put some colour to it, and we have a new logo for $8,000," Coun. George Affleck said.

Affleck is taking issue over a sign that will be voted on by council Wednesday.

The new logo is a simplified version of the current logo, but uses slightly different shades of green and blue. The font is bolder in the new design, and the floral element in the top left of the old logo is gone.

The city has had the current logo for more than a decade, so civic leaders wanted to update the sign with an image that is easily recognizable.

City staff asked the creative agency that offered the lowest bid on the contract to design something that would be clearly legible on municipal signage, social media accounts, websites and other places.

They also asked that the design be simplified so it is recognizable and understandable to those in the city for whom English is not a first language.

The total costs came in under $8,000, the report says, but the exact amount has not been made public.

Regardless of whether the change was necessary, the project's initial price tag is much lower than a temporary rebrand the city paid for in 2009, meant to be used as its logo during the Olympics.

A city logo touting Vancouver as the "green capital" left the city with a bill of $239,000 before tax, according to documents obtained by 24 Hours Vancouver under the Freedom of Information Act.

The same year Vancouver revealed its costly "green capital" branding, the City of Kelowna faced copyright issues over its new logo.

Kelowna spent more than $35,000 on public consultations before selecting a logo meant to mimic the natural beauty of the Okanagan, but the selection was similar to that of an American real estate company. Ultimately, the logo was permitted.

A report to council said the simplified Vancouver logo "presents an updated image of the City of Vancouver as a modern, innovative and highly desirable place to live and work."

Some members of the public weren't impressed with the design.

"My eight-year-old could do that," one person told CTV News.

"I like the old one. I think I'd rather them spend (the money) on something else," another said.

A third called the logo "boring," and another person just laughed.

- with files from CTV

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