FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A northern Alabama city’s new logo is sparking a visceral reaction among residents.
The city paid $25,000 to a Birmingham marketing firm for the branding, WAAY-TV reported.
The logo uses the name Florence, and arranges two letters after the F into an exclamation point, Al.com reported. The exclamation point can also be read as letters in the city’s name. “Live for More” is the city’s new tagline.
“The new logo symbolizes the people of Florence’s passion and love for the city,” the city said in a news release announcing the new logo. “A sense of amazement, delight and pride is all reflected in the Florence logo exclamation point.”
But some residents say F! sends the wrong message.
Florence city leaders are pushing back on claims that they didn’t consider hiring a local firm to do the work. City leaders say a request for proposals was issued, and none of the local companies responded.
City officials say residents were engaged early in the process through a community survey sent to hundreds of people. WAAY-TV reports that it was unable to find a copy of the survey anywhere, and that the city didn’t respond to its requests to see it.
In a letter to residents Thursday, Florence Mayor Andy Betterton said the new branding “will serve multiple needs and audiences as our community grows and moves forward.”
“As we navigate developing the new branding, one thing is for sure; the process has highlighted our community’s talents, humor, and love for Florence,” Betterton wrote.
City council member Kaytrina Simmons says that she’s requested a meeting with the mayor and council to discuss the logo and revise it. In a letter to residents, Simmons apologized for the logo which “has brought so much disappointment to our great city.”