A Star – Amarillo selects a new logo

jpegA Tale of Logo Woe


Amarillos Stolen logo
Amarillos Stolen logo

Should you have missed the start to Amalillo’s tale of logo woe here’s the short version:

Texan city Amarillo were looking to update their branding efforts and launched with no little ceremony a new logo. Trouble was that someone in house stole the logo of a Dubai property company, almost wholesale, and when it was discovered and despite denials and insistences of serendipitously coming to the exact same solution, the City decided a new design was needed. (Read more detail on the this city logo fail.)

Out with the Old…


That was then, this is now. A local newspaper put together a competition and the city decided to get involved. On the 21st January 2014, the new design was revealed.

Plucked from 500+ entries (and another 120 odd parody entrants) a website vote whittled the designs down and a panel picked the final option.

The winner, Tyler Mitchell, got $500 worth of vouchers and another $1000 worth of tea and coffee from a local cafe.

The solution is pretty decent too, better by far than the one it replaces (even if it hadn’t been a copy) but it’s not perhaps the most revolutionary. A star in a letter “A” with some kind of landscape hinting swoosh sat above some type that is in need of some kerning.

The good news is than that after the farce (and continued denials of plagiarism that simply don’t hold water), Amarillo has a suitably bold, suitable Texan logo.

Stars in A's
Stars in A’s

Now to avoid any repeat the city underwent a detailed search to ensure the logo doesn’t infringe on any other design and they seem to be satisfied that it doesn’t. Now cynically one could point out that there are other “Stars in an A” logos to be found, but that’s no surprise especially within an American or Texan context.

If professionals are involved, good things are going to happen.


One other point of interest, Les Simpson of AGN Media (who organised the newspaper contest) said:

“I think the lesson from this is when you let the public become involved, good things are going to happen,”


Wrong. Now I understand why he says this (after all newspapers need to court the paper buying public) but I disagree. The lesson is that if professionals are involved, good things are going to happen.

After all the original logo stealing job was left to a still un-named in house individual. The competition garnered 500+ entries and the logo chosen was designed by nothing less than an actual graphic designer, for that’s what Tyler Mitchell is(see LinkedIn), a graphic designer. And previously for the newspaper that ran the competition no less, currently of Amarillo based Data Flow.

No mention of that in the Amarillo Globe news article (possible paywall) I first spotted this update in.



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Kieran Harrod is a freelance designer based in the United Kingdom. more…


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