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Our Opinion: Logo loss

April 08, 2002

It seems to us that the whole mess over use of the El Centro logo could have been solved simply.

When the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau insisted that the city of El Centro place disruptive acknowledgments in the longtime city/chamber logo, which the chamber had copyrighted, city officials simply should have said, "Fine, we won't give you money anymore."

The city is the chamber's main monetary benefactor, and it would have been hard to play hardball if the city took away the chamber's bat. City officials instead decided to let the chamber keep its bat and play softball instead.

Yes, city officials relented and commissioned a new city logo, thereby choosing to replace the venerable and popular "Sun Man" logo that is accompanied by the motto, "Where the sun spends the winter." The Sun Man, who will stay with the chamber, was created decades ago by Bill Duflock, the longtime El Centro chamber manager and one of the most popular men in the history of the Valley.


The expected tumult followed the 86ing of Duflock's creation by the city. Previous efforts to do away with the Sun Man brought similar rancor. In many ways we concur with the tumult. We liked the Sun Man, we liked the slogan and we loved Duflock. And no one could deny that the logo was uniquely El Centro.

We don't have anything against the logo the City Council chose, though we don't have anything particularly for it, either. Maybe that's the problem. It is nicely done. It's professional. It has a sunburst pointing to, more or less, where El Centro is on a map of California. It has different colors representing the desert, water and agriculture. The gold writing and gold sunburst are particularly lovely.

The logo contains the motto, "Shining with opportunity," which is a fine saying, really. The artist who designed the logo is an uncommonly talented and creative woman.

But is it memorable? We're not sure. Actually, we liked some of the other options presented in the package to the City Council better than the one chosen.

We guess only time will tell how memorable the logo is. It will soon be appearing on city stationery, vehicles and more, we assume. Maybe it will become emblazoned in our minds someday, maybe someday soon.

But it will never replace the Sun Man and what he had to say.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting to hear from the city on what the total exact cost will be for new letterhead, business cards for a hundred city employees and to have it placed everywhere the old logo is found. We have a hard time believing city officials who claim the city was getting low on letterhead anyway.

This waste of energy and money could have, with some intestinal fortitude by city officials, easily have been avoided.

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