To be fair, citizens of the internet are not generally known for using politeness behind the keyboard, so re-branding anything is a task that can bring haters out of hibernation.
But if 160 (and counting) comments on an Atlanta Journal-Constitution Facebook page are any indication, the online crowd really doesn't like the front-runner for Gwinnett County's new logo and slogan.
The colorful overlapping shapes of the logo revealed Tuesday look like a knockoff of the logo for Internet browser Google Chrome, they said. The cursive font used for the slogan — “vibrantly connected” — is hard to read, they said. Why can’t we just bring back the water towers, they said.
The logo, slogan and other re-branding efforts — which are not final, could be tweaked and still must be voted on by the county’s Board of Commissioners — in fact cost about $123,000, according to a contract approved by the board in February. And not everyone hates them.
After representatives from architecture and design firm Perkins+Will presented their recommended logo to the commission during a Tuesday afternoon briefing, Chairman Charlotte Nash said she liked it. District 4 Commissioner John Heard suggested a bolder font but said he was “excited about the new image.”
Other commissioners appeared to approve as well.
The image and slogan, Perkins+Will’s Keith Curtis said, are meant to symbolize Gwinnett’s diversity and unity.
“It’s a very dynamic brand identity,” Curtis said. “There’s lots of legs to what we have here.”
And while the county's rebranding initiative predates high-profile issues of the last year-plus, the timing doesn't hurt. Some, including Nash, have said that now could be the right time to re-emphasize that such diversity is a strength.
Officials believe there are plenty of economic reasons to rebrand, too.
"The current brand was implemented somewhere in the mid- to late-80s and it doesn't really represent Gwinnett County today," said county communications director Joe Sorenson, who has helped spearhead the project. Gwinnett's current county seal features cotton bales and a scroll and quill that reference its namesake, Declaration of Independence signer Button Gwinnett.
“Our economic development people have struggled to get that brand, as they’re traveling around the country and around the world, to show what Gwinnett is really made of,” Sorenson said.
Tyler Estep is a reporter covering DeKalb County, its government and its people. A Gwinnett County native and University of Georgia graduate, he has been with the AJC since 2015. He previously covered his home county and served stints on the paper's hyperlocal and breaking news teams.