With a population of roughly 75,000, the town of Burnley, Lancashire in England looks to be a perfectly picturesque English charmer. Not only is Burnley the birthplace of Gandalf but it’s also home to one of the hottest soccer teams of the moment, Burnley F.C., who have been reveling in their return to the premiere league after 33 years of being in the second tier league. All things considered, Burnley seems like the last place where you would find a highly computerized logo as its calling card.
Developed by the Burnley Vision Board, the new logo is meant to convey all the different aspects of Burnley. According to the Lancashire Telegraph, who first reported on the story, some of the meanings are that “The red is supposed to represent the urban part of Burnley, while the green symbolises the rural areas.” In a report [PDF] outlining how Burnley would be spending a £300,000 (US$490,000) grant from the North West Development Agency, the amount spent on the “Burnley Image Brand” is £110,000 (US$180,000) over the next three years. As usual, the media has latched on this number by itself as the cost of the logo.
But on to the logo… Really? That? I’m not trying to be aloof, but it seems such an odd direction not just as a logo for the city of Burnley but as a logo in general. It’s a concept that tries to be everything without being nothing: It represents our people! Our grass! Our soccer team! Our sewers! It’s exciting! It’s new! It’s modern! Oh, and it spins and moves! No, no, no, and nononono. With this kind of thinking, all logos could just be variations on this one. The logo’s sole saving grace is the type choice, it’s kind of cool, but that’s as far as I am able to get in demonstrating any kind of excitement. And then there was another bit in the Telegraph story that jumped out (italics mine):
Coun Gordon Birtwistle, leader of Burnley Council, said he was a fan of the logo, saying it signifies the town’s “intertwining” qualities. He added that the town had beaten stiff competiton from others who had been interested in using the logo.
So someone has been going around the UK, or even Europe, pitching this logo? And, what’s more, they have been competing for it? Sigh.