San Angelo Citizens to Choose the Next City Logo


During the past year, the citizens and City of San Angelo leaders have had to discuss some pretty tough topics, including water rate increases, whether to elect or appoint a new chief, and as usual, streets. However, as of Thursday, citizens get to have a more enjoyable discussion, and if they’re willing, to take a part in choosing the new city logo through an online survey on COSA’s website.

Back in April, Anthony Wilson, public information officer for COSA, brought the topic to City Council for the consideration of exploring a new logo. Council members tasked Wilson to return with a slate of options, which is what he provided Tuesday at the City Council meeting. These options were approved by the council and are now displayed for citizens.

Originally, the Public Information Office, along with McLaughlin Advertising Agency, the city’s contracted agency firm, engaged in an information campaign to solicit some designs and ideas from the public. At the meeting, Wilson introduced 14 new designs provided by artists at McLaughlin Advertising and one that was inspired by a citizen suggestion.

Stephen McLaughlin, owner of the advertising agency said the idea to change the logo actually came about because he was tasked with getting more uniformity across the city. He was in the process of designing something else for another department.

[[{"fid":"16725","view_mode":"preview","type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"San Angelo citizens get to choose if they want to continue with this city logo or adopt a new one beginning Thursday. (Contributed Photo/COSA)","title":"San Angelo citizens get to choose if they want to continue with this city logo or adopt a new one beginning Thursday. (Contributed Photo/COSA)","height":"1443","width":"1443","class":"media-element file-preview imgbody"}}]]
Above: The current logo.

“People were using whatever they wanted as a logo,” he said.

McLaughlin added that the design he created caught Wilson’s attention.

“That’s when he figured there needed to be more consistency with a logo across departments,” McLaughlin said.

Greater corporate consistency with use by all departments and divisions is a primary reason for the proposed logo change, Wilson said. The other two benefits include the following:

  1. It would represent an aesthetic improvement over what the city now has. “It would reflect the modern progressive forward thinking community that we are,” Wilson said.
  2. The logo chosen could also serve as the City’s official seal, which again, will provide consistency.

“Also, I think this is an opportunity to engage the public. Lately, we’ve been hearing the citizens say, ‘Why don’t you let us vote on this, that or the other.’ Well, this is the opportunity to let the citizens choose what the city’s logo should be,” Wilson said.

With the Council’s approval, Wilson stated COSA will engage in a month-long campaign using mass and social media, and as noted, citizens can participate in a survey placed on the city’s website.

“We would unveil that at a future council meeting, whatever the design that the public chose,” Wilson stated.

[[{"fid":"16726","view_mode":"preview","type":"media","attributes":{"alt":"Samples of the logos to be considered for the next City of San Angelo look. (LIVE! graphic/Joe Hyde)","title":"Samples of the logos to be considered for the next City of San Angelo look. (LIVE! graphic/Joe Hyde)","height":"675","width":"1200","class":"media-element file-preview imgbody"}}]]
Above: A sampling of the new logos to be considered. (LIVE! Graphic/Joe Hyde)

During the discussion Tuesday, Councilwoman Charlotte Farmer, SMD6, asked Wilson, “What’s wrong with the one we have now?”

Wilson stated there’s nothing wrong with the current logo. It will also be added to the choices.

“If the voters choose that, then that’s great,” he said. “This is an opportunity to let the citizens decide if that’s the best brand for San Angelo.”

In regards to cost, Wilson stressed there will be no financial cost to this endeavor whatsoever.

“We’re not spending any money today,” he stated. “We’re not planning on spending money, and the new logo would be phased in as assets are phased out.”

Mayor Dwain Morrison said he didn’t see a reason for this survey or change.

“But that’s just my opinion,” he said.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Grindstaff disagreed.

“I think it’s a fun exercise,” she said.

She added that this is also a way to get the citizens involved in something that isn’t negative. “We’ve had a lot of difficult issues lately,” she pointed out.

Wilson echoed Grindstaff’s comments.

“This is something fun, and I think people gravitate to things that are fun and interesting,” Wilson said.

During public comment, one citizen asked if the logo in the City Council meeting room would be changed. “If so, will that cost any money?” the citizen asked.

The Mayor said, if the city goes with a new logo, everything will have to be changed.

Wilson, however, clarified the city won’t immediately throw out all of the assets it has with the current logo.

“It will be phased in,” he reiterated. For instance, he said if a pickup truck is retired, the new pickup truck would have the new logo. Either way a logo would be placed on that vehicle, so the cost would remain the same. He also said that he wouldn’t personally change the logo on the City Council meeting room wall because it’s an expensive endeavor.

“We’ll just say that’s our retro logo right there,” Wilson proclaimed.

Another citizen, Edwin Guthrie, said, “Personally, I think the city has more pressing matters than to discuss our logo. [Wilson] keeps reiterating it’s going to cost free. There’s nothing free. Period. I’m totally against this. If you go forward in time, people dislike the trash service. You see Dunbar Trash Trucks; you see Republic trash trucks; you see waste management trash trucks. A person living in San Angelo won’t know where they’re at.”

Although McLaughlin said he understood those people’s concerns, he said a new logo is a good idea not only because it’s a fun task, but because San Angelo is also competing with outside cities for economic development, and a modern logo that represents the city is important.

McLaughlin also reiterated that the current design will be in the selection.

“Unfortunately, I don’t know who designed the current logo,” he said. However, McLaughlin said when he was a boy, the city logo was a representation of city hall and it had the Texas Star behind it. It was red, white and blue, and all of the city trucks were orange.

“I know that was true at some point in the 70s, and I would guess, in the 80s, we changed to the current logo,” he said.

McLaughlin noted that he doesn’t know how or why that came about, but the designs people can choose from are a spin on the design he remembers from his childhood. Sticking to that design was important to the advertiser.

“To me, as part of the city, it’s important because I grew up here. I came back and raised my family here, and also my grandfather worked for the city.”

McLaughlin recalled riding around in the city trucks, and that’s one of his earliest memories. He said, “To me, the city logo is always going to be that old one.”

With that design in mind, McLaughlin took the ideas pitched by individuals through submissions. Some of those submissions were complete art or just ideas.

“We kind of finished out those ideas,” McLaughlin explained. “Within the office, people who weren’t graphic designers, we had them draw up something and write something it should be about. We wrote down notes based on what council members had said and people had said, and they just came from there.”

The designers pointedly remained with the current color schemes with the idea that the logo would be by attrition, and nothing would be replaced instantly. By maintaining the same color schemes, there’s no clash during the transition. Additionally, the red, white, and blue logo are very common, but it’s unusual to have green and yellow in the logo.

“That makes us different, unique,” noted McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said he’s also not charging the city for the time put into designing the new logos. Normally, the city gets a discounted rate for work and pay is based on an hourly rate, but the advertiser didn’t think a tremendous amount of time would be involved, so he did it for free.

“I thought it was a neat deal all the way around,” the advertiser said.

Overall, McLaughlin said he would be happy if people picked a citizen’s entry and not just one of his own employees. He also hopes the whole thing stays fun and people will participate. McLaughlin noted he has enjoyed the process thus far.

“What makes a good logo isn’t the graphic of it,” he stated. “It’s the time and the dollars behind promoting it, and the associations of it. It’s not an ego driven thing. I just think it’s fun to be a part of it.”

McLaughlin reiterate that the logo is not just used in the city; it’s also used when marketing to outside companies to move to San Angelo. The logo is a part of all of the things that are sent out.

“That’s why other cities update their logos and try to stay modern,” he said. “We are competitive with other cities for economic development, so we do market ourselves outside our city limits.”

To view the new logos created by McLaughlin’s team and citizens, and to take the survey, visit COSA’s website by clicking here.

Subscribe to the LIVE! Daily

The LIVE! Daily is the "newspaper to your email" for San Angelo. Each content-packed edition has weather, the popular Top of the Email opinion and rumor mill column, news around the state of Texas, news around west Texas, the latest news stories from San Angelo LIVE!, events, and the most recent obituaries. The bottom of the email contains the most recent rants and comments. The LIVE! daily is emailed 5 days per week. On Sundays, subscribers receive the West Texas Real Estate LIVE! email.


Most Recent Videos


Did the city council care about how much money is being spent on something? Or is that only when there isn't some kind of kick-back to the members? I like the idea, and I personally like the top Left logo.

There should be one with the caption of San Angelo, a City on the Rise! Rising Taxes, Rising Water Rates, Rising Unemployment and Rising Crime Rates. Let's be truthful.

Post a comment to this article here:

X Close