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Santa Clarita : City Emblem Receives Seal of Approval

Times Staff Writer

The Santa Clarita City Council has approved an official city seal that its designers say captures the values and pleasures of the municipality incorporated just 10 months ago.

The seal, developed over eight months, shows one of the young city’s trademark oak trees surrounded by rolling hills, puffy clouds, tract homes and an industrial building.

“It represents all the things we want to preserve in this valley,” said Councilwoman Jan Heidt, who spearheaded the effort to create the logo.

The City Council approved the design Thursday night, receiving warm applause from a few hundred residents. There were, as always, a few critics. “The road is terrible,” mumbled one woman.

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The council sponsored a logo contest in the spring but decided the winning entry by Todd Cooper, a Green Valley graphics artist, only reflected Santa Clarita’s past, not its future.

The city hired Gormley-Takai, a Los Angeles design and marketing firm, to produce the logo for $5,000. Cooper, meanwhile, got to keep his $500 first prize.

Brian Gormley said his firm reviewed the original contest entries and was inspired in part by the designs of schoolchildren who drew houses and families at play. “If our design is a success, it is probably due as much to the children as to our artists,” he said.

Some unconventional entries were ignored. A design showing a developer’s bulldozer knocking down an oak tree did not make the final cut.

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Gormley said his designers tried several styles, some futuristic, some traditional. One trial logo had the letter “S” form a wagon wheel, an apparent reference to the town’s frontier roots.

“Obviously,” he said, “that didn’t work.”

Councilwoman Jo Anne Darcy liked the new seal but said she was disappointed that children were not pictured in the design. Gormley said that while the silhouettes of children looked fine on a large seal, they got lost when the design was reduced to fit on business cards or stationery.

“You can’t tell if it’s a dog or a child,” he said.


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