Chicago Logo Design Updating the City Seal

Chicago Logo Design Updating the City Seal

Chicago Logo Design (The City Seal)

Chicago logo design immediately makes me think of all the options you have for hiring a company to create or redesign your logo.

While you have found a great website for Chicago logo design, that is not what this article is about.

Why am I writing about the city seal?

With local elections behind us and presidential elections basically right around the corner (uggghhhhh) politics are in the air. I have been thinking a lot about the city of Chicago and whether I should move or make this my permanent home. This led to Google searches galore, one of which landed me on a page of an image for the Chicago city seal. When I saw it I thought, “Oh, that’s basically the real deal, official Chicago logo design. Why is it so ugly?”

Do not get me wrong. I am all about having a sense of “my city is better than your city,” and all that. I started digging for more images and you know what I discovered? I discovered not one city seal to be aesthetically pleasing while representing the city in question.

Perhaps I just got tired of looking. They all look the same. Most are boring, busy, hard to read and dated, Chicago’s included.

I get it. A seal is supposed to look official and incorporate iconic storytelling images to showcase the history of how the city came to be. How about what the city is today? What would that look like for Chicago?

Branding is everything.

Now, admitedly so, I have no idea of what the first step would be in the process of updating the Chicago logo design but I do know a little bit about how it came to be the way it is today.

A Brief Chicago History

The great city of Chicago became a town in 1833 and later a city in 1837 when it adopted the present seal (or as I’m calling it, the original Chicago logo design). Once established, making the seal was one of the first legislative acts. Believe it or not the seal was designed by a dentist, Bernard J Cigrand. What does that tell you?

Regarding the details, the image of wheat represents the fertility of the Midwest. One image represents the native inhabitants of the land while the ship depicts future settlers. The baby supposedly represents the birth of the new city. “URBS IN HORTO” translates (from Latin) to mean “City in the Garden.” Thus, a mark is made.

Making A Mark

While a seal may not be considered a “logo” so to speak, how do you differentiate? One may go as far as to say every city seal is in fact a logo, the very mark of the city. When will we leap forward?

It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. – Mark Twain, 1883

Thanks for reading some creative thoughts on the city seal and Chicago logo design.

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Nicholas Dale Taylor
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