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Rebranding Burnsville: Council Considers New City Logo

For the first time in 30 years the City of Burnsville might update its logo. Which new design do you favor?

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The City of Burnsville could get a new visual calling card. Tuesday, the council kicked around the idea of adopting a new logo to replace its current design, which came into being in 1976.

The question of changing the logo came up afer the city decided to erect monumental welcome signs on all the main roads leading into town.

"It's literally going to be set in stone," said Communications Coordinator Marty Doll. "So if we ever wanted to update it, now is probably the time to think about it."

Doll emphasized that the new design would likely be an homage to the old—not a complete overhaul.

"We're not trying to change our identity. We are very proud of identity Burnsville has," Doll told the council. "The city has done a great job branding itself and we wouldn't want to undo all that hard work, but (the existing logo is) a little visually outdated. It has that 70's look and feel."

Doll presented three new design options, all created by Greg Preslicka of Preslicka Studios in Savage. All incorporated the city's longstanding theme—“trees and water”—but offered varying degrees of change and modernization. You can see all three above.

• Option 1: This design is very close to the existing logo, with the same shape and structure, but slightly different colors and a streamlined look. 

• Option 2: The council was uniform in their rejection of this design, which Council Member Dan Kealey described as "pine tree with hurricane." 

• Option 3: The third design is the farthest away from current logo. It features an asymmetrical flourish of water and leaves sweeping around a pine tree.

The council had mixed feelings about changing the logo. Kealey said that the more he thought about it, the more he liked the old logo, but that if he were asked to choose he would pick design number three, which struck him as a trendier, more modern choice. Fellow Council Member Dan Gustafson agreed, saying that the design was "flowing, and always moving forward"—just like Burnsville.

On the other side of the fence were Council Members Mary Sherry and Bill Coughlin, who felt that such as design was too trendy and perhaps not "municipal" enough for their tastes. Both said they would opt for design number 1 if they had to.

"Twenty years from now I don't want a design that people will look at and say 'Oh that's so 2010,'" Sherry said, who added that in her opinion, the council should only change the logo if they were "absolutely wild" about a new design.

Ultimately, the council sent Doll back to the drawing board in the hopes that he and Preslicka might come up a fourth option that combines the best of Option 1 and 3.

If Council does choose a new logo, the old will likely linger for quite a few years. City staffers recommended a long-term implementation plan, rather than replacing all of the old logos at once, a move which would be both expensive and time consuming. Instead, the city would update the logo only when a sign or piece of equipment is scheduled for replacement. There would be a few exceptions to the rule, such as the monument signs and the entrance at city hall, which would need to be updated immediately.

What do you think? Which logo would you choose?

Emma Hathaway July 13, 2012 at 01:19 PM
An update would be nice with a long term implementation plan. I like option 3 the best.
Nancy Cruise July 13, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I like the current one best, as well as the idea of not having to waste tax money on replacing it all over town. Of the new ones, I like option one.
Nancy Cruise July 13, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Although, I must say that I really hate the font on option one.
Ingrid Henry July 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I also like option 3 a lot! It flows nicely, looks modern without being too trendy that it would go out of style and doesn't look so stodgy as the old logo or option 1.
Jason J Potter July 13, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Option 3 would get my vote. I also agree there are better things to spend money on. I would say implement as things are replaced as opposed to a sweeping change.
Clare Kennedy July 13, 2012 at 03:00 PM
It's funny that no one has selected Option 2. Dan Kealey is right. The first thing I thought was "hurricane"—the blue accents are almost exactly like the design on hurricane escape route signs in Florida.
Clare Kennedy July 13, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I think I would like Option 3 better if it used the same colors as Option 1.
Don July 13, 2012 at 04:43 PM
It just amazes me how much time and money this council wastes. Have we not more important things to spend our money on? I mean come on our neighborhood has been waiting for a new street that has been pushed back 3 times due to the PAC bleeding money, the city can't even take care of its dead boulevard trees because "it's not in the budget". Who knows how many other things are getting put to the side because "it's not in the budget". The wasteful spending needs to stop and they need to focus on more important issues.
Dave G. July 13, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Don, I agree. This quote summed it up: "The question of changing the logo came up afer the city decided to erect monumental welcome signs on all the main roads leading into town." The "city decided". Really? When was that quietly slipped through the consent agenda? The city doesn't need "monumental welcome signs" especially when we're picking up the latest Sun Thisweek (or whatever it's called) and reading quotes about the tax levy increase where our Council members say "we've really pared back city budgets to the bare minimum". "Monumental welcome signs" that tell people entering Burnsville who already know they're entering Burnsville (based on their sudden urge to yawn) that they're entering Burnsville didn't make the chopping block? THAT'S within "bare minimums?" As an aside, I think all three logos stink largely because they feature some kind of evergreen tree that doesn't exist naturally in the city. We aren't Ely, Minnesota here. This whole thing should be canned starting with the "monumental welcome signs".
Nancy Cruise July 13, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I wish there was an option to like comments on this page, I'd give Don and Dave both huge thumbs up.
Cliff Volkmann July 14, 2012 at 06:12 AM
I'm with Don, Dave and Nancy!
Sue July 14, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I'm usually not a negative person, but..... I grew up in Burnsville and at that time the current logo of trees and water fit our city. Burnsville has become over developed and not in a good way. With the exception of a few (beautiful) parks the city has become the land of commercial and housing over developement. If a new logo is being developed, (which is a waste of tax dollars) it should depict overcrowded condos, townhomes and commercial buildings, many of which stand empty. The days of lakes and trees are long gone.
Allen Lane July 14, 2012 at 05:11 PM
To expensive. Make no change to logo. Instead, budget the planned expense to 360 communities. Allen
Tom Allen July 14, 2012 at 08:58 PM
It's been 36 years. Time for a fresh look.
Peter Beckel July 15, 2012 at 04:55 PM
What is not mentioned in this article is cost.... Everybody is tightening their belt and the city spends more money. I heard $50,000 per sign.... one more reason to get them out of there. Jerry Willenburg for mayor. Go get them Jerry, I too will represent Burnsville tax payers by voting against any unnecessary spending on the County level. "like" me at facebook.... Peter Beckel for Dakota County Commissioner.
Luke Grabinger July 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Signs at major entrances to the city are important. It creates a sense of community and it advertises the city itself; attracting more people to visit or move here. It says to residents and non-residents, "We are proud to be here." The question is why do those signs have to cost $50,000 each? Why can't we hire a local landscaping contractor who could build them for half the price (forgive me if the prices are wrong or the group hired to create the signs are a local business, and inform me if that is the case)? As for the logo, it doesn't make any sense to change it. Option 1 takes the current logo, and squishes it together to make Burnsville look crowded, like there isn't room to breathe. Option 2 is my favorite, as it represents the coniferous and deciduous trees in a unique way, all that it needs is a recreation of the water aspect, such as framing the trees as rising from a water droplet, like the water is the pedestal the trees and the city is grown from. And really, we are sitting here saying, "Oh, the logo is so 70's," but the current favorite among the options is option 3, which is obviously destined to be, "Oh, that logo is so 10's." If Option 2 looks like a hurricane, option 3 is most definitely a tornado sweeping the city away. The stylization doesn't really represent water, and it looks like something you would put as a website banner or something, where it can continuously be updated as the trends change - not something you set in stone.

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