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Council: Using logo will help county's identity crisis

Published September 17, 2013 7:32 pm

S.L. County Council wants people to notice government by requiring the brand on all correspondence.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Just like Nike, Salt Lake County needs to get its logo out there as a branding tool.

"It's valuable for people to know what their county tax dollars are doing for them," Councilman David Wilde said Tuesday in proposing a policy requiring the county's logo to appear on all county correspondence and websites.

"That would help make sure when people see something from an agency, they know it's an agency of Salt Lake County," he added, holding up a picture of the logo with its sunbeam rays coming out of a block-lettered "SL County" like the rising sun.

Adopted unanimously by the council, the policy standardizing use of the logo is the latest council effort to solve what they perceive as Salt Lake County government's identity problem.

Six weeks ago, the council amended the ordinance governing the naming of buildings, requiring that the county's name be displayed prominently on its exterior.

"People in Salt Lake County don't really understand the services we provide, and we don't help them," noted Councilman Jim Bradley after his colleagues cited several facilities known by names — Salt Palace, Viridian Library and Dimple Dell Recreation Center — that obscure the fact they are county owned or managed.

If people recognize more readily all that the county does for them, he added, "they'll understand we do all of these things with their tax money" and not be as outraged when the council periodically has to raise taxes.

Mayor Ben McAdams endorsed the policy. "We want taxpayers to know their tax dollars are being well spent to serve the public," he said, joking "the county logo has been tattooed on all of my children."

The policy proposal by Wilde and co-sponsor Michael Jensen requires the logo to appear on "all printed materials such as pamphlets, letterheads, brochures, business cards, banners, forms, websites and marketing materials" produced by departments under the mayor.

It does not apply to independently elected officials: district attorney, sheriff, assessor, auditor, clerk, recorder, surveyor and treasurer. All but two of them, the assessor and the treasurer, have their own logos already.

Council Chairman Steve DeBry did not think the Sheriff's Office should have to give up its familiar logo of a six-pointed star with the word "sheriff" in big type across the center circled by "Salt Lake County" in smaller print. Or that the district attorney should have to abandon the image of Lady Justice within its badge-shaped logo.

Wilde said nobody will be forced to drop anything, but those specific agency logos should be in a secondary position to the main county logo, establishing the offices as part of county government.

The council asked elected officials to "come up with a plan to join the team" within a month.

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikegsltrib