New Amarillo logo needs to link roots


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The Prairie Opinion. Art by Chris Brockman.

The Prairie Opinion. Art by Chris Brockman.

In picking up the Amarillo Globe-News or hearing from the numerous media outlets in the Amarillo area, there has been controversy surrounding the new Amarillo logo. What can be so wrong with an image of warm, reaching rays of the sun peeking out behind a blue cloud to celebrate the city charter’s 100-year anniversary? The answer is simple: it strikes a near-identical resemblance to a global property developer from Dubai.

We, at The Prairie, are pretty sure that our friend and city spokesperson, Sonja Gross, has her hands full with the accompanying damage control that comes with such an issue.

Even though reports have come up that an image search was done beforehand, officials never caught that the new logo bears a striking resemblance. Our answer to that is a simple Google image search would do for this situation. Because of this folly, careers and reputations could be ruined and people would soon be left in the unemployment line.

In whatever we do, especially in higher visibility fields, it’s a tightrope walk. You screw up, and you’re done for. Of course, the design is simple enough, but a thorough search must be done in order to keep a logo’s originality. It’s not only ethical to do such a task, but a process to make sure one isn’t stepping on any toes is a necessary effort all around.

While the older Amarillo logo is quite dated, it had good elements that embodied the city. The older logo possessed a longhorn steer to signify that Amarillo is located in Texas and as a center of the cattle industry, a rising jet that characterized the business that Bell Helicopter has brought along with having a small, yet progressive airport barely outside of city limits, and wheat stalks that defines Amarillo as a hub of agriculture. Sure, this logo was busy with all of its elements. However, it’s absolutely salvageable and could easily use a modernization.

Maybe the city wanted to go in a different direction to get away from something that is hard to replicate. Yet why go with just a sun and clouds? Could Amarillo embrace that it is a city that’s still a small town at heart? Could it still celebrate its diversity of notable personalities that have called Amarillo home since its inception? Our answer is a unified “yes.”

First of all, there are many bright and intelligent graphic designers around the area – along with those from Amarillo College and from West Texas A&M University.

So let’s go back to the drawing board, shall we?

Could we use horses, since the American Quarter Horse Association is headquartered in the city? Or perhaps use a stylized V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, built at Bell Helicopter not too far away, to represent our city? Or honor Amarillo’s roots by honoring a staple of American culture – the cowboy?

How about a simple concept like the wind? In fact, Amarillo is technically windier than Chicago, as the city is on the list of top ten windiest places in the United States. We’re also pretty sure that’s a given fact.

Now, with all of these ideas playing in our minds now, here’s an idea: How about a circle logo, as a horse races across the plains (colored green or tan, your preference) with the wind propelling it forward as a silhouette of an Osprey and a jet races forward across a blue sky? We’ll leave you with that mental image for now. Dwell on it, because that may be the direction that Amarillo needs to take to signify its heritage and its progress all at the same time.

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