San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 29th, 2010
Letter to the editor: Seeking the right logo

To the editor:

The Branding Task Force appointed by the city council of which I am chair, wants to thank all the people — more than 1,500 — who participated in the process of developing a new brand for San Marcos. During and since my service on the council, it’s been clear that San Marcos can reap great rewards when we do a better job of telling our story — what makes us special, why we love our community, and what we have to offer to prospective employers, residents and visitors.

That’s why the city council unanimously approved moving forward with the branding project, which is funded with hotel tax revenues paid by San Marcos visitors that were put aside by the city for several years. The task force, which includes community leaders, the mayor and council members, spent nine months and heard from all segments of the community while working with our consulting team to develop options for a new San Marcos brand.

The logos that the task force presented for public viewing represent only part of the information delivered by the branding project. The market research, analysis and planning that’s been produced by our team will give San Marcos the tools it needs to bring its new brand to life for visitors, prospective employers, and residents not only today but well into the future.

Public debate in San Marcos is often lively and features many diverse viewpoints. But one thing we all recognize is that San Marcos is a growing and dynamic community. Telling our story with a new brand is an excellent investment for a bright tomorrow for San Marcos. Because this is such an important issue, after listening to the comments and concerns of the community, the branding task force is now planning to extend the branding initiative, working with their consulting team to be certain that we obtain the right look for the new San Marcos brand.

It’s been a challenging but rewarding experience for me and the task force as we help provide the city we love with the tools it needs for a strong and prosperous future. We look forward to presenting these new ideas in the months to come.

Pam Couch
San Marcos Branding Task Force Chairperson

Email Email | Print Print


19 thoughts on “Letter to the editor: Seeking the right logo

  1. Pretty. Near. Perfect. Idea. Dump all this and start over. Involve the ENTIRE community and get it right.

  2. A well-formed political statement that contains a lot of words, but doesn’t actually say anything.

    Take a look at this last sentence:

    “Because this is such an important issue, after listening to the comments and concerns of the community, the branding task force is now planning to extend the branding initiative, working with their consulting team to be certain that we obtain the right look for the new San Marcos brand.”

    So let me get this right. Your proposed brand and logo have been generally criticized, parodied, and ridiculed. Your response is going to be to expand your initiative by working even closer with your team of out-of-town consultants?

  3. I hope this doesn’t mean that you all have finalized the Pretty near perfect” brand. The logo was cute for something. but not San Marcos. Without talking to anyone else,when I first saw it published, I thought of an earthquake and shattering buildings falling into the river. I was also surprised because, ” A Texas Natural” was what I have always heard. “Pretty near pretty” doesn’t sound good, “Pretty near smart” doesn’t sound good “. “Pretty near handsome”, ” Pretty near Educated”, “Pretty near Happy”, “Pretty near Clean”, “Pretty near Proper”, “Pretty near Ugly”,” Pretty Near Stupid”. I understand there are periods in between the words but you might as well have an arrow pointing towards Austin as the ” Perfect one”. This is my interpretation.

  4. Miss M brought a smile to my face… she is having fun with this logo and good for her! A logo might have some importance to a city, but the question is how much? This logo has cost us in the neighborhood of $100,000-$150,000. It is understood that the revenue from the visitor’s tax can be used for only certain things but can’t it be put to better use? And, are we going to continue with this expense when, as Griffin said, it has been stated they are going to “extend the branding initiative”?

  5. As a fiscal conservative (read that as someone who knows how to live on a fixed budget), I am always looking for a “Return on Investment”. No matter how the citizens money is raised, this money belongs to the citizens of San Marcos. Just because it was paid for by people stopping in our hotels for the night, does not mean that $150,000 is not a lot of money that can go a long way towards getting them to stay longer. I would hope that there was an analysis of the positive (or negative) impact from cities “re-branding”, and their associated costs.
    Working in industry, I have seen many of these “re-branding” programs sold to companies, rolled out in employee meetings, money spent to put the new logo everywhere, then only to do it again two years later.
    We are so far down the road, and it appears, ready to roll this out no matter what the opinions are. I will vote for giving it a chance. I would hate to have to spend three times the average household income of a San Marcos family one more time again to get it Pretty. Nearly. Perfect.
    By the way…. Can we look at fixing all the potholes at the Visitors Center intersection with maybe a few bucks that may be left over? We don’t want any accidents as people forget to look down from the new Pretty. Near. Perfect. sign.

  6. It would be a shame to spend good money after bad. Until the “branding” committee coughs up more information for public review on what has been accomplished so far and how much money has been spent on this to date, the logo and tagline look and feel Pretty. Half. Baked.

    It is public city money they are spending here, so it plenty reasonable for us to ask them to post the materials online (detailing what they have accomplished so far, and how much money has been spent on this to date) so we can review.

    Viva Transparency. Oh, wait, THAT sounds like a pretty good tagline for a local election campaign: Viva Transparency!

  7. San Marcos needs a Brand. The logos are good but do not represent San Marcos. Post the project on and see what the designers come up with.

  8. This city council should not take a decision on this issue; they should wait until after the November elections, and give a chance to the new council to vote on it.

  9. stick with “a Texas natural” and use the money for the community, like finishing the sidewalks across the street from the mayor’s office!

  10. How about we employ a local design firm made up of people that actually live here. Then our money is actually spent in our town. 1836 Creative does great work. They made the logo from our company for $150. That’s right, 3 less zeros.

  11. There very well may be much more to this “branding” deal than meets the eye,

    or the light of day.

    This scheme has been in the works for a long time,

    and way before seats on the City Council were compensated.

    Sorry to make the obvious suggestion here, but our innocent good-willed faith and trusting naiveté has thus far allowed the citizens of San Marcos to be led too far down a dismal surrogate path, toward a painfully guaranteed and obligated future.

  12. Did Pam Couch come up with the subject of this letter: “Seeking the right logo,” or did Newstreamz.

    I have been assuming (always dangerous), that this effort extends well beyond a logo and a slogan. While I still see the value in a branding effort, a logo is not a brand and a logo is not worth $150,000.

    I really hope there is a lot more to this project, than the disputed logo and slogan.

  13. I agree with some of the other posts that speak of using a local designer. Out of town designers will not know what San Marcos is all about and by the results of “Pretty. Near. Perfect”, they did not even come close. As a life long resident of San Marcos, I hope that the task force truely listens to all of the comments that have been posted because I have honestly not spoken to many residents that approve or like this possible logo and slogan.

    Buy local from someone who actually knows San Marcos. And remember that San Marcos is not AUSTIN!

  14. What was wrong with “A Texas Natural”? Why do we have to have a new brand? Pretty. Near. Perfect. sounds like “pert-neer perfect, Maw!” It sounds ignorant and inferior. Sadly, another example of people with power going on a wild spending spree with money that others had to actually work hard for.

  15. Well, I’m clearly in the minority here, but as slogans go, “Pretty. Near. Perfect.” is not that bad. In fact, it’s good. There’s a cleverness to it, though the challenge for logo designers is to ensure that readers always (and immediately) see it’s a phrase built from three single-word sentences, because the words stand alone and each has a specific and positive meaning. Taken together, it does sound a bit like a country colloquialism, as Tracy points out in her comment, but I think that plays to San Marcos’ friendly, small-town vibe. It’s part of what we’re selling, no?

    “A Texas Natural” is descriptive, but it lacks the traction memorable slogans need to connect with audiences inundated with ads. It strikes me as a little generic.

    I haven’t seen any of the logos, so I can’t comment on those. But having been involved in branding exercises for lots of organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, I can tell you that this slogan is good, no matter who came up with it.

    Is it worth $150K? I don’t know, though I’d hope the price tag includes more than a couple of slogans and logos. I personally would rather see the city put money toward silencing the train whistles in town, which would increase property values and make San Marcos a more attractive place for new residents. But I’ve learned to stop asking about that.

  16. In hindsight, pretty near perfect was a hell of slot better than “wed love your company.” Terrible slogan. I cringe every time I see it

Leave a Reply

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