The first informed me that an esteemed, high school classmate had died. RIP, Dick, you were a good man. The second was from a Kansas City artist asking if I would address the new Kansas City logo hubbub on KCC, referencing disagreements he had with other stories on the subject.
Truth be told, I had no interest in writing about this because to me, the new logo was boring and totally uncreative. Besides, logo and brand change controversies have been around forever. However there was an interesting side to this story, enter your well-coiffed Scribe.
But first, whats going on with the new, improved KC logo? We’re told it will usher in a new age, the lion will sleep with the lamb, oceans will calm, businesses will come to town, rainbows and unicorns will magically appear, even when it’s not Gay Pride week…all because we have a new logo.
Local artist-turned sandwich seller and concert honcho Stretch likened it to “a monogram like on a shirt.
“It doesn’t do Kansas City justice,” he groused, joining a growing plurality of people who dislike the new logo. Or think it looks like a brand.
KCMO council person Ed Ford, with hurt feelings for being left out of the decision making by the KCMO Communications Department said sternly, “Who died and made them king?”
And Kansas City Mayor Sly – a fan of the logo – stated the obvious saying, “I know it’s a KC.” Besides, nobody outside of Kansas City had any idea what the fountain symbol meant, he added. “At the end of the day, you want something that when people look at it, they say Kansas City, boom, it jumps right out at them.”
Mr. Mayor, I think you struck marketing gold by telling us “KC” makes people think of, well, KC.
A number of locals noted its similarity to the old Kansas City Monarchs logo.
I really can’t argue that.
Because if you’ve looked at the new KC logo, it looks like they took the “C” and tucked it in up here, tucked it in down there and voila new logo!
The term “derivative” seems to have been used a time or two describing the new logo. As in imitative, unoriginal, uninventive, unimaginative, uninspired, copied, plagiarized, secondhand; trite, hackneyed, clichéd, stale, stock, banal; informal, copycat, cribbed, old hat.
Yeah, I’d say that pretty much covers it.
On the other hand, how much can you do besides change typefaces once you decide to abbreviate (dumb down?) the city’s actual name into its widely well-known initials?
To my thinking the city should have commissioned my main man Emerson Rapp – the creative genius behind the hit video Tour of Kansas City. Remember him? At least Rapp would have come up with something cool and original like:
KANSAS CITY; We don’t need no stinkin ARCH!
Kansas City; Hey, at Least we’re not Omaha or Des Moines!
Now there’s the type of attitude I could get behind.
Of course, that’s not what we did. We picked Single Wing Creative designer Emily Elmore‘s vision. She did it for free and we got what we paid for.
“I wanted to create a ‘linked’ logo that can show a connection between a young and innovative new city with the roots of a city that has always had an edge,” Elmore explained.
Now I get it We got an edgy, linked logo, said no one ever.
Again, Kansas City’s new “KC” isn’t the first logo controversy.
Did you know that the brand ADIDAS has a hidden sexual message in its name? It was rumored it stand for “All Day I Dream About Sex.”
However in reality, it was made up from the nickname and letters from the last name of founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler. Dassler’s brother, the one with the smaller libido, founded Puma, no controversies there.
Did you know the drink Snapple has always used most of its profits to fund the KKK? As evidenced by the fact it has a “K” embossed on its glass container. Fact is, the company was founded by three Jewish partners and the “K” indicates it was manufactured to Kosher standards.
And since I’m talking about Jews, here’s one for the Jew hating, Gentile skater crowd.
The rubber soles of Van’s shoes are made up of a Star of David pattern so we can mash it into the ground with each step we take. It took the Anti Defamation League to squelch that one.
The Kansas City firm Procter & Gamble‘s old logo paid homage to the company’s allegiance to The Church of Satan. Its 13 stars referencing a verse in Revelation talking about the Mark of the Beast and 666 was hidden in the old man’s beard. In truth however, the 13 stars were there to honor the original 13 colonies.
And Coca Cola‘s logo? If read in reverse it says in Arabic, “No Mecca No Mohammed.” Coke says that really wasn’t what they had in mind when the logo was created back in the 1880’s.
And the town Usa, Japan changed its name to hijack the logo “MADE IN THE USA.” Interesting story, but Usa was named in the 8th century, long before the founding fathers stole this land from the Indians and started making up crap like the Washington Redskins name.
The bottom line: Kansas City’s new logo won’t change a thing.
Regardless of the big unveiling party full of people breaking their arms patting them selves on their collective backs for ushering in a new era for the city under these two, magnificent new letters.
So what if our infrastructure still sucks, the murder rate east of Troost remains the same, cronyism continues and nobody can solve the real problems our city faces – like education – new logo or not.
And so as we take down 20 year-old images of fountains and begin putting up our brand new image of a “K” and a “C,” derivative seems about right.
Just like “city of fountains” and “Paris of the Plains, there’s really not a whole lot original going on here. And who really cares anyway?
What actually can change this town is new people, with new visions and new ideas. People who have more vision than they do political motivation. That’s where real change comes from.
We have it in us; let’s make it happen!