Carbondale mayor stands behind new city logo

The mayor of Carbondale is sticking by the city's new logo revealed at the State of the City Address this past week, despite a lot of pushback on social media.

"As usual, social media is a very small vocal minority," Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry said Monday. "I have been receiving compliments on it from other businesses in Carbondale."

The logo was developed by North Star Destination Strategies, Inc, which was hired in February as part of a citywide branding process for $98,000.

Henry said the logo is an abstract crossroad, which fits with Carbondale being the "eclipse crossroads of America." In the middle of the design, it looks like a keyhole, which Henry said suggests the door is always open in the city. Additionally, the center of the design gives a nod to SIU and Carbondale's college town identity.

"Implying that Carbondale is the key to unlocking your future and realizing your full potential," Henry said at the address. ""The overall tone says sophisticated, outdoorsy, and creative."

The top part of the design is a maroon "C" on its side, standing for Carbondale and the green in the logo represents the outdoor recreational opportunities surrounding the city.

"The overall tone says sophisticated, outdoorsy, and creative," Henry said.

On the city's Facebook page, several negative comments were hurled at the city for spending too much money, not using local artists and talent and just general disapproval for the product.

Henry said regardless of what is said on social media, he is standing behind the logo.

"I have a high degree of confidence in the branding that we are doing," Henry said. "People draw vulgar things on it on Facebook, so that shows you the mentality of the people we are dealing with."

Henry said the city put out a request for proposal for the rebranding project and only received two responses - North Star and a firm from Paducah. Henry said the Paducah firm doesn't do the research into the community the city was looking for, although it was willing to try. Ultimately, the city chose to the work with the company, which specializes in community research and has designed more than 50 logos for cities of all sizes throughout the country.

A mayoral-appointed committee chose the logo. Henry said that is the way it was always designed to happen. He said the committee put several hours into the logo and asked the consultants to do a lot of different things throughout the process to allow five out of six people to agree to a design.

"It would have nearly impossible to have a large forum and arrive at a logo design and strapline," he said. "It took a lot of hard work on part of our committee."

After the start of the year, Henry said there will be a large community forum where the city will formally reveal the logo to the public. He said the consultants will be in Carbondale to share the rationale behind the logo.

"Carbondale is going through a lot of changes now," he said. "We are revitalizing our downtown. We put a big entryway monument talking about Southern Illinois University and we decided we wanted a branding that shows we are a progressive community.

"We are inclusive and the "ALL Ways Open" is a thing that speaks to the fact people can come here and find a pathway to their future."