n. 11, for a study session to review a proposed new logo for the city of Yucaipa, which was ultimately rejected.
City Manager Ray Casey said that the city staff formed a marketing committee made up of mostly mid-managers and Director of Community Services Megan Wolfe. They all showed initiative in the branding process as they did with the branding for the Yucaipa Performing Arts Center.
Casey said, “As you know, city wide marketing efforts are extremely important as we get ready to reopen the economy and update our website. We have council approved funding for commercial marketing, residential marketing and Caroline Velarde our Economic Development Analyst, has been reaching out to folks relative to those efforts and so the branding is an important part of that whole process.”
Wolfe presented a history of the city’s logo and said that on March 9, 1990, the logo recognized to represent Yucaipa, was approved by city council as the first city logo. It is known today as the city’s seal. In 1992, a former city staff sketched a drawing of snow capped mountains with the words “City of Yucaipa.” It is now known as the city of Yucaipa’s logo.
Wolfe said, “In March 2020, we entered unprecedented times. As a city, we had to adapt quickly to the change that was going on in the environment around us. We had an obligation to inform our residents of state and county guidelines. We, like many other agencies, used social media, YouTube and the city’s website to get the information out quickly.”
Wolfe said because the logo was hand-drawn, the pixilation around the borders of the image are visible, which makes it appear uneven.
“In addition, the logo is illegible on social media platforms such as FaceBook and Instagram. Therefore we have been using the Explore Yucaipa logo,” said Wolfe.
This logo was approved by city council in 2014.
“As we begin to reopen the city, and move towards residential and commercial growth, it is imperative that our logo evolves. A city logo needs to be vibrant enough to catch the attention. It should peak the interest of prospective developers, businesses and families. Finally, a logo should leave people with a lasting impression. An impression that we care and want you here,” said Wolfe.
The proposed new logo, created by marketing committee Margo Mullen, was described by the artist with her saying, “The inspiration for this proposed logo is the natural beauty of the landscape of Yucaipa,” said Mullen. “I know for myself and from many people who either live, work or play here, Yucaipa’s open air parks and jaw dropping views, are one of the many reasons why people keep coming back and have stayed in the area for so long. This timeless proposed logo brings together Yucaipa’s strength, beautiful parks and rugged outdoor lifestyle.”
Council was presented with a proposed branding identity kit which illustrated ways in which the proposed logo could be implemented with the primary logo, color combinations, fonts and the date the city was established. “Yucaipa is one of the most beautiful towns in California with an incredible community and this proposed logo illustrates those attributes,” Mullen said.
After discussion of the logos, the limitations of the current logo and color schemes provided for marketing material with the proposed new logo in this study session, it was council consensus for staff to return to council with suggested updates made by council to the proposed logo and a digitized version of the existing logo for council consideration.
As directed by council, the marketing team returned to council on Jan. 25 with its presentation of the revised proposed new logo and existing logo with crisper lines for digital media purposes. After much discussion, the council was more open to accepting the revised new proposed logo.
Councilman Justin Beaver said, “I think Councilman Avila made a phenomenal point when he noted the font of the word Yucaipa in the pre-existing logo and it being possibly psychological uplifting and I never noted that before.”
Beaver continued with, “Call me biased because I’m a lifelong son of the city but there is something about this logo that, to me, is warmer than that (the proposed new logo). I don’t mean to offend but I get a clipart vibe from that. I get a windows 95 clipart vibe … I will concede with city staff as you are the experts in marketing and I am not, if you tell me that this (the current logo) is going to be very difficult for you to market our city and that (the proposed logo) will be easier, and we could potentially see a 60% growth in our economic development, I will concede to the numbers. I just want to say, this (the current logo) is warm and inviting to me and I guess I am biased.”
Councilman Jon Thorp said, “Honestly, when I look at it, I have to say that the old logo states simplicity.”
Thorp continued to say, “When talking to some folks with marketing and what not, more can be said with simple sometimes and so I personally see the adjustments and I think it looks better (the proposed new logo) but if I had to vote right now, I would say no because I like the old logo. I think it is more simplistic. The more we put in there, the more we do, I think it kind of detracts from it. Then moving forward, whatever we do for a logo, I still think we need to figure out what our identity is for a logo, and whatever that is, whether it is digital, on our vehicles, on our signs, it needs to be the same and not an Explore Yucaipa logo, not our old one and this one (the proposed new logo), because then, I think it makes it look like we don’t know what our identity is and we confuse the public.”
Councilmember David Avila said that while driving in Yucaipa, he was pointing out to the CEO and president of the chamber of commerce that the street signs, the city flag, brass plaques and so many items have the existing logo. His question was if that was to be kept as a symbol but the marketing tools be the new version and what would be the cost to change everything to a new style, which would need to be considered also.
Mayor Greg Bogh said, “I know Mary had mentioned in her report that landmarks and logos of landmarks and so forth, that was up to us and we can just keep the old logo.”
Avila said, “OK, I wasn’t clear about that. Vehicles show that too and it would be very expensive to change out but if this is going to be the marketing image that we want to project, again, I can live with that.”
The council was reminded by Casey that it certainly had options in terms of suggestions for the logo, if it liked the existing logo or if it liked the new logo. The city could have the option to keep the existing bridge emblems and monuments the same and move on in the future at the council’s discretion, about what to put on new monuments, bridges, etc.
Casey commented, “You make a good point councilmember Thorp, we have a different brand, if you will, for the YPAC Explore Yucaipa and that is a decision that was made a few years ago in an effort to kind of take us in a little different direction in the Uptown with the YPAC and so that thought process, we have been through in terms of rebranding the YPAC and rebranding in general.”
Casey concluded with, “the community has evolved over years to say we don’t want that kind of development to the point where maybe we do want some commercial development that makes sense, that is quality development. And if we do, then maybe that more proactive and targeted approach to marketing through branding and maybe a more modernized branding is something that we ought to consider.”
After more discussion and consideration of another logo version being brought to council, Avila stated he would like to get this agenda item off the council’s plate. A motion was made to move forward for the new logo for marketing and social media purposes and keep the current logo for other city items including signs, monuments, etc. Councilmen Bobby Duncan, Thorp and Beaver voted no. Thorp made a motion to look at another logo option. There was no action taken so the discussion ended. Council defaulted back to continuing with the newer version of the existing logo.