Apex officials are taking a second crack at choosing a new town logo after they were dissatisfied with options from two finalists.
The town’s current logo shows a handful of buildings reminiscent of downtown, along with railroad tracks and a water tower, a logo that some say is too cartoonish.
But with the recent designation as Money magazine’s best place to live in the country, and because the town needs to repaint the water towers, officials asked the public to submit ideas for new logos.
A committee of town staff picked two – one that looks similar to the current logo, and another more abstract design. But the town council didn’t want to commit to either during its Jan. 5 meeting.
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“Personally, I was not really enthused about either of the options,” councilman Gene Schulze said. “The contemporary one was fine, but it didn’t really say anything about Apex to me. The other one I felt was too similar to the current one.”
Councilman Bill Jensen expressed some concern about the council delaying a decision, though.
“We have water towers that are getting painted, and we need to get something up there,” he said.
Mayor Lance Olive agreed that the process should not take months, but he also agreed with Schulze that there could be some better options. He asked council members to pick one or two of their favorites from among the 102 submissions and bring them back for discussion at the council’s Jan. 17 meeting.
In addition to the water towers, the logo also could be printed on shirts, coffee cups, road signs, letterhead and more.
Olive said he wants to stick to the submissions rather than have the council come up with something new or tweak one of the entries.
“Sometimes you’ve got to remember if you design by committee, you might not get anything that’s great,” he said.
Neighboring towns Morrisville and Fuquay-Varina recently have spent thousands of dollars on rebranding efforts that included new logos and more, to mixed results. Fuquay-Varina officials loved their new brand, while Morrisville sent their logo proposals back for further work that has added months to the process.
Apex decided to keep its budget lower, offering a $500 prize to the winning designer with submissions sought from residents instead of professional firms.
Of the 102 submissions, officials said, 70 are from Apex residents and the other 52 come from elsewhere.
There are several dozen submissions from high school students, town spokeswoman Stacie Galloway said, “and one really charming design from an 8-year-old.”
Nearly a dozen entries incorporate at least one mountain, and several have entire snow-capped mountain ranges, drawing into question the designers’ geographic knowledge. One design features a boat sailing by what appears to be a mountainous island.
Another design features the sun peeking out from behind a towering group of skyscrapers, indicating the creator perhaps hasn’t seen a picture of Apex.
Only two of the 102 entries, though, appeared to be jokes.
One, in hastily scribbled writing, showed the words “Almost in Raleigh” slanted into a Triangle, with an arrow in the middle that makes the design look like an “A” for Apex. Another used an image of Thomas The Tank Engine that’s digitally altered with the phrase, “Choo Choo Peak of Good Living.”
Doran: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @will_doran
By the numbers
Of the 102 entries submitted for the logo:
70: From Apex residents
35: Drawn by hand
10: Designs with at least one mountain
53: Designers 17 or younger
8: Age of youngest designer
2,682 miles: Designer who lives furthest from Apex, from Truckee, Calif.