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BREAKWATER BREAKDOWN: Logo A-Go-Go

Published 12/19/2007 on the District Weekly

Hey look! The Port of Long Beach just got a flashy new logo, complete with rainbow colors and an animated design, which port spokesman Art Wong said is intended to “evoke a childlike quality, maybe even inspire children.” The logo is debuting on silky flags hung from street lights along Seventh Street, among other places, and if the new design alone isn’t enough, it’s accompanied by three new slogans: “A fresh new look and a fresh perspective,” “A new philosophy, a flourishing Long Beach,” and “A catalyst for a vibrant Long Beach.”

Why does the port need a new logo? To convince us that the new leaf it is turning over will be a lovely shade of green. The port considered this news important enough to hire an expensive, prestigious international branding company—Siegel & Gale—to portray its new ideas in bubbly LSD colors. Wong wouldn’t say how expensive, but Siegel & Gale’s marketing director Mindy Sabella says the Port of Long Beach is among the firm’s richest accounts in Southern California—and that its top customers pay around $1.5 million.

Sabella explained why: An eight-person planning and design team spent a year researching community sentiment and port philosophy trying to find a logo that would encompass all the constituencies the port claims to represent—trade, wildlife, people and the greater community that relies on port commerce.

Meanwhile, however, when the City of Long Beach asked the port last August to contribute $50,000 to finance a study that would examine the cost-effectiveness of reconfiguring the Long Beach Breakwater—a notorious off-shore wall of boulders that is directly linked to trade, wildlife, people and the greater economic community—the harbor commissioners voted no.

Consequently, the City of Long Beach has had to look elsewhere for funding. But, if your eyes are bored from fund-looking, you can now look at lots of pretty-colored birds, boats, fish, trees and people holding hands, wings, anchors and the like.

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