Evanston’s logo is in the shop for a possible redesign — and here’s a chance to say what you think of the preliminary ideas for a new design that a city committee will discuss Wednesday night.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says that rather than putting the old logo back on city vehicles after switching last year to a special design marking the city’s now-concluded sesquicentennial celebration, he’d like to consider switching to an updated version.

The city’s art design coordinator, Lisa Frye, working with Alderman Mark Tendam, a graphic designer, came up with four initial renderings that the Economic Development Committee will be considering Wednesday night.

Take a look at the designs, and cast your vote for the one you like best.

The current city logo.

Redesign proposal #1.

Redesign proposal #2.

Redesign proposal #3.

Redesign proposal #4.

Which City of Evanston logo design looks best?

Got more to say? You can add a comment.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. The existing design says much

    The existing design says much more to me about what I think about with Evanston.  I don't see much reason to change it after using it for so few years. The other designs have the lighthouse as what is most emblematic about the City. I think that is limited, even though I think Propsal #1 is kinda cool looking. #s 3&4, from the right perspective, appear to be the heads of tropical birds. 

  2. Back to the drawing board

    What is wrong with this picture? Evanston is much more than a lighthouse. It is hard to understand that the graphic design team can only see lighthouses.

    The current design is better than what is purposed by leaps and bounds. If we are going to spend city dollars, a new logo needs to be at least arguable better than the old logo.

    It is back to the drawing board.

  3. Evanston City Logo Redesign

    These new logo design proposals convey nothing of what it means to live in Evanston. They are void of all the ways that make Evanston such a great place to live. If a redesign of the existing Evanston city logo were to be properly explored, perhaps it would be beneficial to actually redsign it, rather than stripping it down to a lighthouse. Secondly, perhaps human-centered design thinking methods could be applied to the approach where designs are created that take more factors into account—most importantly what residents believe Evanston represents to them. —Matthew

  4. City logo
    Keep the current one. The redesigns only reduce the information given by the logo. Reduction is not always good.


  5. People and trees too

    I like the streamlined designs. But, I agree with others that we are more than a lighthouse (tho the lighthouse/lakeshore is key.) I'd like something that conveys lakefront, people and trees, and urban living. That may be too much, but it's worth a try. Oak Park has done a nice job with two of these — people and trees. http://www.oak-park.us/

  6. Logo

    While I like the updated, clean look of the proposed redesigns, I believe that Evanston is a lot more than just water, which the lighthouse and "wave" seems to convey.  As a result, I prefer the current logo.


  7. The Lighthouse is such a tiny part of what Evanston is

    The current logo shows various aspects of our City. The rest all look like the lighthouse is the centerpiece of town, which it's not. It's a cool thing in the far northeast corner of town. No more representative of the City as a whole than Mount Trashmore or the Canal or the Ladd Aboretum.  All important but none alone says EVANSTON.  If I came to a town with that logo and learned that the little structure on the edge of town was the basis for it, I'd laugh.

  8. Keep the existing or clean it up

    Apparently 2013 was the year of the logo redesign. Many of the logos and brands we recognize instantly were touched up for 2014. One of the main reasons was to make it easier for web and mobile app presence.


    Why not just take our original logo and refine it slightly? The lone lighthouse does nothing for me and could be Anywhere, Any Coastal Town, USA. Richard Florida would be proud! 

  9. City logo: Leave it alone!

    I speak only for myself as a respected senior member of the Chicago design community. The idea to remake the city's logo completely eludes me.

    Because the 150 "brand" superseded it last year is no reason to replace it again this year. A "brand" needs endurance in order to gain full recognition.

    The current city logo has only been in use for two years or so.

    As a professional, I can only guess at the cost of implementing a "new" logo on print, signage, vehicles, etc. Please leave it alone and move on to more important economic development issues.

    If anything, more thought should be given to a more professional implementation of the current logo.

    1. Logo Good in Frozen Pipe Story

      In the "Frozen Pipe" story, there's a nameplate in front of David Galloway with the city logo on it. As small as it is in the photo, it is still quite recognizable as being "ours". For as much information as our logo communicates about who we are as a community, it is still simpler than the "Great Seal" that Chicago still appears to use as their brand and much more readily identifiable. Let our "brand" continue to mature.

      1. How about a wallet ?

        Appropriate would be a wallet turned upside down and money pouring out into a sewer.

  10. i think all the options are

    i think all the options are underwhelming.  why not ask jack weiss to submit some ideas.  he was responsible for the way-finding signs in evanston.  something should reflect people, the lakefront, historic homes, that kind of thing. the lighthouse is an easy one; it logoizes so readily.


    mary brugliera

  11. Rapunzel?

    While the original logo is a bit crude in its depiction of objects, the next four indicate a comlpete lack of imagination on the part of the supposed graphic designers.

    First, is the lighthouse the only image of Evanston that they could think of or did they lack sufficient imagination to think beyond the origianl logo?

    Secondly, is stripping the image down each time the only technique or design concept available?

    Three, by the time we get to the last two, the curved arc (is it a wave or is it a sail?) is emerging from the lighthouse window.

    I figured it out! Rapunzel is trapped in the lighthouse and that is her hair woven into a rope for getting out or a prince to climb up.

    What a brilliant effort on the part of City staff. Reducing an image that is barely Evanston into one that is simply a fairy tale. Maybe other readers can identify a parable in all this as opposed to an enormous waste of time.

  12. What were the objectives for the redesign?

    Was there a design brief for this project explaining what the requirements for the new logo might be?

    More modern? Promote the lighthouse more? Simpler? Easier to reproduce? The results are usually stronger when there is a good reason for the change. And, it is a lot easier to evaluate if one starts out (before designing) with a set of desired objectives for the new logo to attain. 

  13. Logo Costs

    Nice the City had $150,000 to spend on the logo they only used for one year … What will the costs be to revamp the entire city with the new logo if the 100 year logo cost that much?

  14. Thoughts from the designer of the current city logo

    We are the original design firm awarded the logo redesign after a public RFP process in 2000. It may be interesting for the public to learn that the original logo was only intended for internal use. We submitted 12 designs–many of them simpler. The selected design was based on input from the city council that it must include all of these elements: The Lighthouse (required per the rfp),  diversity, waterfront, college town, tree city, business, residential.

    NeigerDesign believes that although the city has changed dramatically in the past 13 years, there are many aspects about Evanston that remain true:  The aesthetics of the lakeshore, parks, trees, historic districts and now, highly developed downtown area.

    In Evanston there is a certain delicate harmony between progress and history and tradition. A symbol for the City of Evanston must always balance the future with the past. An Evanston symbol must reflect balance; Urban and suburban, a welcoming residential feeling and a progressive business atmosphere, a strong diverse community and a college town.

    We agree that the selected logo (13 years ago) is complex. Against our advice it turned into more of an illustration than a symbol– which should reflect the essence of Evanston. This will continue to be a huge challenge if the public insists that all Evanston aspects be actually represented in a symbol.

    If the public does want all of the elements listed above included in a logo, we suggest hiring NeigerDesign–the original design firm to simplify the logo and prepare Evanston for the next 10 years of growth.

    I love Evanston. My children were born here. I have had a business here for 25 years. It is a special place. I am curious-what comes to mind when you think about Evanston? What would be the “essence” of Evanston to you as a public?



  15. Wave?

    I had no idea what the "wave" was meant to be on designs #3 and #4 until I read the comments! I agree with the other posts that the lighthouse is not the most important part (and certainly not the ONLY part) of Evanston – but for 3 and 4 in particular was more outright confusing than simply minimalistic. The current design is beautiful – Why change it? I'm open to updates, but none of the proposals strike a chord with me.

  16. YEA
    Commission YEA (Young Evanston Artists) to come up with the logo.

    An addition to my prior comment – get the kids involved.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *