BELOIT - Beloit is set to get a face lift, but it took a bruising logo selection process.
The Beloit City Council approved a new logo Monday, updating the municipality's typeface for the first time since the mid-90s. The council voted 5-2 to approve the updated design, which signals an end to a $20,000 selection process with a Madison-based design firm.
Councilors Mark Preuschl and Clinton Anderson voted against the logo selection, after fielding strong public push-back. Anderson appealed for public input on the logo last weekend, drawing widely negative reviews, and Preuschl said he was contacted by multiple residents to forgo the new option.
Councilors went back and forth over the logo Monday ahead of the regular council meeting, with Council President Kevin Leavy and councilor Sheila De Forest urging unity amongst councilors. De Forest also stressed the need for a cohesive logo.
Councilors held a public meeting May 8, which was minimally attended, to modify the logo a second time after first hearing the issue in April. AFFIRM designed two logos that were modified ahead of the May 8 workshop.
The new logo includes a portrait and landscape option, with the landscape option set to be the city's primary logo for all letterhead, vehicles and signage.
After the May 8 meeting, councilors seemed pleased with changing the layout of the logo, but on Monday, Preuschl took issue with apparent font changes to the logo.
City Manager Lori Curtis Luther backed up the claim that the primary application had not changed between May 8 and Monday.
"I thought we had a consensus on this," Luther said. "My goal bringing this forward was to not do anything disparaging to the city, and that's not what the result has been."
Preuschl said he could not support the logo options in the face of public outcry against them. Citizens spoke Monday against the logo, with some saying the logo did not appear to represent the city.
"I think there is value in the concept, and we shouldn't dismiss that concept because of some bad art," Preuschl said. "I can't support this. I think we can do better, I think we deserve better. Maybe Beloit just needs to be Beloit."
Local graphic designer Tracy (DeCori) Bliss of DeCori Design said she would design a new logo free of charge for the city, offering design elements to be included in the grassroots logo.
Bliss said she thinks the logo lacked elements representative of Beloit, and does not reflect the city's diversity.
Preuschl and Anderson also thanked residents who had spoken out in the process.
Residents who spoke out on social media said a competition should have been started to determine a logo.
The process to choose a new logo spans back to 2014, when the city partnered with Visit Beloit, the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Beloit Association and the Greater Beloit Economic Development Association to spend nearly $94,000 to develop a uniform group of logos for the different agencies. The council did not agree to a logo option at the time.
The council also formally voted down Club Adiktion's most recent liquor license application.
The Alcohol Beverage License Control Committee offered a recommendation to deny the application. The club had its license revoked and suspended in 2015. The venue dealt with a shooting incident in July 2015 and had been cited for selling alcohol to minors and other issues.