RALEIGH, North Carolina - Some say it looks like a leaf, others see broccoli or perhaps a feather, but Raleigh's new logo, meant to depict an oak tree, is here to stay.
The Raleigh City Council unanimously approved the logo at its Wednesday meeting after it spent nearly a year in development.
The project, accomplishing part of the City's strategic plan to find a way to effectively tell Raleigh's story, comes with a price tag of $226,000.
The simple image of an oak tree in varying shades of green is half organic, half technology-inspired.
"This great natural park that we live in, there's so much green here, but there's also the City emerging from this forest," said Damien Graham, City of Raleigh Communications Director. "On one side you have the tree and the natural environment and on the other side you have the built environment, and they come together in a unified way."
It's the first of its kind for the capital city, which has never had a logo.
"We've used the city seal as a logo," said Mary-Ann Baldwin, the councilwoman who's championed the project. "It's not a logo. It's the city seal."
The city seal will continue to be used for official government documents, but Graham said the logo is the solution to inconsistent branding across departments.
"Every department, every division had a different look about it, a different color uniform, a different color symbol on their chest," Graham said.
Graham said the City paid Oklahoma-based consultant Cubic $83,000 to conduct objective research. Raleigh-based The Assembly did the design for $143,000.
Graham said the high cost came from the City's "intentional" approach to in-depth research and several iterations of the logo.
"It really embraced the City of Oaks," said Baldwin. "That's who we are, that's how we identify. I feel pretty confident that we got to the right place and over time, you're going to see people embrace this and use it."
Staff will now develop a strategic plan for its gradual rollout.
Graham said that although updating the City's social media accounts was a simple fix, other items will receive the new logo as they need to be replaced.