The Board's seal was updated and the County has a new logo.

County Starts New Year with New Look

Author: Administrative Office
Date: 1/6/2017 4:02 PM

The County of San Luis Obispo rang in the New Year with a new seal and logo design, which were approved by the Board of Supervisors in December.

To help the public better identify County services and programs, the two marks will replace more than a dozen logos previously used by the County.

“We are coordinating and standardizing how we communicate with the community we serve,” said County Administrative Officer Dan Buckshi. “By unifying how we identify the County, we hope to increase awareness of County programs and services as well as increase citizen engagement with County government over time.”

On Dec. 6, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the identity standards, which will be phased into County communications beginning this month. The public provided input on both designs. Feedback was also received by County staff and each District Supervisor, in an exhaustive year-long effort to create a look that would pay homage to the past, while also moving the County into the future, officials said.

To connect the two marks, the logo is embedded in the seal, but also stands alone. The logo is a simple, stylized adaptation of the County boundary, while the seal is a more traditional design that depicts the region’s history.

“Public focus groups identified the County’s unique shape as an element in the seal that can be easily recognized on its own,” Szentesi said. “The simple logo will help people instantly identify the County and our many individual departments, services and programs. The seal, on the other hand, represents the County as a whole and the Board’s authority or stamp of approval.”

The seal retained many of the symbols that were in the previous version, including Morro Rock, a grizzly bear, an arch and bell, a ship and faces that represent early inhabitants and explorers, mountain peaks and valleys, oak leaves, and more.  The ribbon with the word “Alcaldes” was removed for space.

The County’s slogan, “Not for Ourselves Alone”, is more prominent in this new seal than it was in the previous one. This slogan represents the past, present and future ways the people here care for the economic, environmental and social quality of life.

Through the course of this project, the County reviewed more than half a dozen design concepts from various designers before ultimately choosing the final seal and logo created by San Luis Obispo-based marketing agency Barnett Cox & Associates.

“We did most of the work in-house to keep costs low,” said County Communications Analyst Whitney Szentesi, who managed the project and will now work with County staff to begin using the new designs. “We spent about $23,000 on design and consulting services, which is considerably lower than the $40,000 or more that government agencies typically spend on similar projects.”

The County will include the new seal and logo in communications using a phased approach over time to keep associated costs down, officials said. Other County logos, with few exceptions, are expected to be phased out within two years.

“The former seal is 43 years old and we wanted something that will last another 43 years,” Szentesi said. 

Watch or listen to the discussion