The City of Mississauga's old logo had been slapped on countless documents, billboards and buildings for a quarter-century, but in spite of its ubiquity, many residents couldn't even recall what was on it if it wasn't in front of them.
The city has now done away with the outdated logo (which, for the record, featured a silhouette of the Postmodern Civic Centre along with the tagline "Leading today for tomorrow") and launched a new logo Wednesday as part of a complete rebranding campaign.
The new logo is much sleeker: it's a line-art rendering of an M made from three triangles with the city's name in a clean, sans serif font.
With 2014 marking the city's 40th anniversary, it was time to see if the city's old logo, designed in 1987, was still relevant, says Ivana Di Millo, the city's communications director. Focus groups weren't able to picture it from memory. When they were shown it, they described it as "industrial," "conservative" and "boring," according to city documents.
"Residents didn't want that kind of logo anymore. They wanted a logo that promoted the dynamism and vibrancy of the city as a whole," said David Ferreira, the project manager on the city's brand renewal.
So far, the new design won the approval of Richard Sommer, dean of John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.
The simple triangles and modern font in Mississauga's new logo better represent what the city has grown in to, he said.
"Cities that are culturally complex and ethnically diverse like Mississauga and Toronto can't have logos that try to be too representational or too symbolic. They should remain somewhat abstract," he said. Mr. Sommer stirred debate last December when he described the City of Toronto's logo to The Globe as "very, very ugly and a poor piece of graphic design."
Despite its simplicity, the in-house team that designed Mississauga's logo have ascribed a range of different meanings to it. One interpretation is the logo is a constellation of map points that mark the communities of Streetsville, Port Credit and Mississauga that form modern-day Mississauga. In another view, the triangles are meant to represent three "brand ingredients": "welcoming world culture," "inspiring possibilities," and "naturally enriching."
The cost of creating the new logo and "brand story" was $170,000.