Plano aldermen back retaining harvester in logo

Aldermen stress they don’t want to replace historic image in branding update

The Plano City Council heard from a DeKalb-based creative agency about a potential branding update, with aldermen easing up on a push to move past the city’s use of an historic harvester in it’s image.

The $16,000 branding contract with OC Creative would update the city’s logo and website along with developing a marketing strategy. Currently, Plano uses several different fonts, colors and slogans, from the “Birthplace of the Harvesters” to “Smallville, U.S.A.”

“Imagine your football team having five different color helmets, and all different color numbers and different fonts on their jerseys,” OC Creative’s president Brian Oster said during a committee meeting Monday, June 14.

“What we’re looking to do is bring that consistency, something that’s not only consistent, but that you can rally behind as a community,” Oster said.

Aldermen have stressed that the branding push is not a frivolous expense, but a way to help the city attract new business and industries.

“With multiple fonts, tag lines and logos, we lack the ability to market our community in a professional manner, draw these businesses that are going to be crucial to building our future,” said Alderman John Fawver.

In a previous meeting, aldermen who initiated the branding discussions criticized the city’s reliance on a historical farm harvester in it’s branding, arguing the 19th century technology had little relevance to the Plano of today let alone modern farming. That sentiment was walked back Monday night, with Oster calling the harvester an “untouchable.”

“The goal of the committee was never to get rid of the reapers,” said Fawver, chairman of the community development committee. “This isn’t about replacing anything. It’s about trying to find that identity and have one clear identity.”

Should aldermen approve the branding contract later this month, residents and local businesses will be encouraged to participate in the search for an updated logo and city image.

“I would love to get input,” Oster said. “It’ll be surveys. It’ll be getting together. Ideally what we want to do is gather feedback.”

Lucas Robinson

Lucas Robinson covers politics, courts, schools and the pandemic in Kendall County and Yorkville for Shaw Media. His work has previously appeared in the Chicago Reader, the Buenos Aires Times, Open Secrets and USAToday. He grew up in Muncie, Indiana.