So long, Spiral Bridge logo: City considers new logo
The new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings is changing the downtown landscape. But beyond painting a new swath of color across the river, it’s leading the way in a new rebranding effort for the city.
The city is exploring ideas for a possible new logo and the city council recently approved a contract that will redesign the city website.
Currently, the city logo features a detailed, black and white line drawing of the historic Spiral Bridge. Although it’s been the miniature face of the city for decades – it’s been found on city letterhead from 1975 – it poses some definite challenges in marketing Hastings in today’s communication technologies.
“Our goals in this redesign are to address challenges with the function of the current city logo, including technical issues, recognition and relevance,” said Lee Stoffel, Hastings’ communications coordinator. Stoffel has been working with City Administrator Melanie Mesko Lee and Assistant City Administrator Julie Flaten to develop and advance the rebranding efforts.
“Our biggest challenge is that the current logo is incredibly detailed and doesn’t function well in social media, email signatures or on our business cards,” Stoffel said. “In these small formats that are the standards of communication today, our current logo becomes unrecognizable. We are looking for a logo that represents Hastings well in both large and small formats and be instantly recognizable to most people in the metro area.”
Two logos are being presented to the public and the city is inviting citizens to comment on them. Both feature a stylized silhouette of the dome on top of City Hall, arch elements to tie in the new bridge and references to the river. Stoffel worked with local artist and graphic designer Annette Bach of Graphic Design, Inc., to create the two samples.
While the Spiral Bridge may be leaving the city logo, it won’t be forgotten. One logo option includes a spiral in the “S” of “Since” to serve as nod to Hastings’ past, and images of the city’s first and most iconic bridge continue to be found in artwork, murals, history books and replicas around the city.
“Although we recognize the Spiral Bridge as an important symbol of our past, we decided to focus instead on an image in Hastings that is both historic and present,” Stoffel said. “City Hall is one of less than a handful of this type of building still standing in Minnesota today. It is a beautiful, historic building that welcomes everyone into Hastings, and one that many citizens in this town played a hand in saving.”
The city has not decided for sure that it will retire the current logo.
“We’re really hoping for feedback and participation so we can hear how people feel about this,” Stoffel said.
The city invites the public to submit feedback regarding the logo options and to state which option they prefer. An online survey will be available through Friday, Nov. 8, at www.surveymonkey.com/s/hastings_logo. Those who do not have internet access can share their feedback by calling Stoffel at 651-480-2344.
A new website
The new logo and rebranding effort is expected to go live with the launch of a new city website. The city council approved a roughly $22,000 contract with Vision Internet at its Oct. 7 meeting to develop the new site. The company also serves the cities of Eden Prairie and Plymouth.
The existing site was most recently redesigned about five years ago by the city’s own staff. The current project puts the website hosting, security and maintenance in the hands of Vision Internet. The contract includes an annual maintenance fee of about $6,000, which covers those costs, as well as ongoing training for city employees. The annual fee also includes upgrades, allowing the city to keep current with new technology, and another redesign after four years so the city won’t have to make another large investment to update the site.
The new site is being developed with two primary improvements in mind. One is to make it easier to navigate on a range of mobile devices, so people can get information more quickly and easily wherever they are.
The second focus is to help drive local economic development by giving additional attention to tools and resources for potential business owners.
Websites are becoming the standard way in which cities communicate with residents, Stoffel said, and this project will help Hastings better meet its resident’s needs.
“The new bridge, along with plans for development along the riverfront, brings an exciting feeling of renewal,” Mesko Lee said. “We want to embrace that change, while offering our citizens a great platform for communication in accordance with our CORE values. Most people are so busy in today’s society; we need to make finding information as simple and attractive as possible.”
It will take about six to eight months to build the new site, and Stoffel said the city expects to see it roll out sometime next spring.