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Batavia rolls out new logo design

City aldermen give tentative approval

The city of Batavia is moving ahead with plans to adopt this design as its new logo.
The city of Batavia is moving ahead with plans to adopt this design as its new logo.

BATAVIA – A freshly minted logo for the city of Batavia appears on its way to approval by aldermen, who rejected a different design more than a year ago.

Batavia Communications Coordinator Griffin Price presented the new design at a committee meeting last week, where it received a tentative thumbs up from council members who quibbled only with the color.

The new logo features a modern rendering of windmill blades inside a circle next to the wording “City of Batavia” using two typefaces.

Perhaps what is most notable about the design is what’s missing: there is no tagline or motto accompanying the logo.

In the late winter of 2018, aldermen voted down a logo proposal that also included a windmill graphic, but featured a tagline, “Powered by neighbors,” that was heavily criticized.

Price presented the logo in a light blue color. He noted that blue is commonly used by government bodies, conveys trust and is the color of the city’s current logo. But he also provided a series of color alternatives for consideration.

The logo is ready for use on the city’s newly redesigned website, Price said, noting that the windmill blades could be animated.

Price provided a series of examples showing how the logo could be adapted for use on business cards and letterheads, along with caps, shirts and even coffee mugs.

The communications chief also included a depiction of how the logo would appear on the new entryway signs that the city is planning to install along major roadways starting later this year.

Third Ward Alderman Dan Chanzit said the council should waste no more time, and the group approved his motion to sign-off on the design in black, pending a further decision on the color. They are expected to take up the proposal again at their Aug. 13 committee of the whole meeting.

Second Ward Alderman Marty Callahan called the design evolutionary and familiar.

“This is a modernization of a logo we’ve had for years,” Callahan said. “I like that we’re not tying ourselves down to a tagline.”

The current city logo, roughly 35 years old, features a graphic depicting Fermilab’s Wilson Hall and windmill blades, along with the motto “City of Energy” and of course the name Batavia.

Known as “The Windmill City,” Batavia was home to several windmill factories during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

It is expected that use of the new logo would be phased in, and might not appear on police or fire department vehicles, which already have their own designs. Price worked with graphic designer Chris Daleen to produce the new logo.

The logo that was rejected by aldermen in 2018 was created by Winnetka-based design firm Sparc, which worked on a branding project for the city for more than a year. Sparc conducted an internet survey of 850 residents and one-on-one interviews with more than 30 community leaders.

Aldermen were critical of the drawn-out process and then picked apart the logo design, color, typeface and tagline before rejecting the work altogether.

City Administrator Laura Newman said the city spent $36,000 with Sparc, while Price was able to produce the new design with Daleen for less than $5,000.

Since becoming city administrator in 2016, Newman has been systematically proposing policies and initiatives designed to attract business.

These have included the logo redesign, the entryway signs and a grant program for businesses along key gateways into the downtown to make building and landscaping improvements.

Newman’s most recent initiative is a plan to hire an economic development manager, contract with consultants to bring in targeted businesses like hotels and auto dealerships, and to create an advisory council of Batavia business leaders and professionals.

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