The city of Sandy Springs has a new official logo, adopted at the Oct. 4 City Council meeting.
Developed quietly over the summer at a cost of $99,333, the new logo features the city’s name under three curving lines—one light blue, one dark blue and one green. It replaces the 10-year-old city’s first and only previous logo, which featured the city’s name with a line of trees behind it and a stream of springwater in front of it.
The new logo is “all about growth” and embodies the city’s dual suburban and urban interests, said Juliet D’Ambrosio of Imbibe Brand Design, the firm that developed the logo. The old logo is “pretty” but “hard to reproduce,” with its rectangular shape and shaded color, D’Ambrosio said, adding that the new logo “passes…the bumper sticker test.”
The new logo will be phased in slowly in such uses as city vehicles and police uniform patches. One place the old logo will remain is as the center of the official city seal, used to stamp city documents, so “we keep that piece of history,” Kraun said. The seal also hangs over the mayor and council’s dias.
As a bonus, the city also got a stylized image of a turtle, Sandy Springs’ mascot animal, though it is unsure what to do with it. Mayor Rusty Paul said the turtle was considered as the main logo, but would have looked bad on, say, a speedy police car. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the turtle likely will end up being used on promotional materials for city programs and events. “We liked him,” she said.
A main reason for creating the new logo is the city’s overall “branding” effort. The city’s former “City Center” downtown district was rebranded as “City Springs” last year with a new logo designed by the same people, though they were at a different, now-dissolved firm. The new city logo is intended to better match that City Springs branding effort, which Kraun called a “good home run.”
The City Springs logo creation cost $77,000 and included a full “branding guide” to how the logo should appear on various objects and in various colors. The new city logo will come with a similar guide, and D’Ambrosio said one standard was creating a design that looks good without color and in various lighting.
The logo selection process involved an internal committee including the mayor; City Manager John McDonough; members of the Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism board; and residents with marketing experience. The logo also got some “man on the street” testing, Kraun said.
The committee and the design firm reviewed many city logos and seals from around the nation and also looking, including Brookhaven’s recently adopted seal.
The chosen design is intended to have an “S” shape reflecting the city’s name; the blue-and-green colors of water and trees; and a sense of energy and motion.
“Sandy Springs is at a threshold” with “a lot of growth and energy and development,” but also interest in its roots, said D’Ambrosio in describing the logo’s intent.
One reason the new city logo cost more to design than the City Springs logo was complexity, Kraun said in an email after the meeting.
“City Springs was an easier project in that we had a clean palate in which to work,” Kraun said. “With a rebranding, there are more challenges. You are taking something familiar and something that has been a part of a community and either changing it or replacing it.”
The design process was more formal and more confidential than that for the original city logo. According to Kraun, the then-new city held a public contest to design the logo, but the mayor and council rejected all submissions, then hired a small design firm to create the final image.