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New city logo to be drafted by UGA Design Studio students
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Sixteen landscape design students from the University of Georgia’s Design Studio presented information about creating memorable logos to the Covington City Council Monday night.

The presentation happened after the regular council meeting adjourned and included information on the 15 elements that make up a good logo. During a PowerPoint presentation, each student stood to talk about one design element and show the council samples of good and bad examples of each concept.

Discussion about having a new logo designed for the city has been going over for about two years, said Covington Communications Manager Trey Sanders. “We’re not 100 percent sold on if we will rebrand,” he said. “What the Design Studio will do is help us determine what our current brand is and how it’s being received.”

Branding is a name, symbol of design that instantly identifies what corporation, organization, service or product offers and what it promises. A logo reinforces that brand.

“A brand is a recruitment for future citizens and businesses,” Sanders said in an earlier interview. “Your brand or your logo is your first impression. That’s why, when you’re city, you don’t have anything tangible to offer. You don’t have anything tangible with a sports team — you’re selling a service, an entertainment. A city isn’t different — you’re selling a service to people, a quality of life.”

Mayor Ronnie Johnston said he wanted to be able to look at the logo and know that Covington is a great community. When the mayor asked the students what they thought of the city’s current logo, their response was that they had discussed it and felt it didn’t tell them anything about Covington beyond it being located in Newton County.

Council Member Ocie Franklin, Post 3, West said, “We need something new. The current logo doesn’t say anything. If I was a stranger, I wouldn’t want to come here.”

Council Member Mike Whatley, Post 2, East, said he wanted to see something simple, but reflective of the diversity “we have in Covington, from council to community. Something that would draw diversified sections of population.”

When asked to critique the current city logo, the students said they did not know what it said about the city. Sanders said he thought of the current logo as a seal, not a logo. However, he warned, “when you talk about the possibility of erasing the current logo/seal, it’s going to get expensive very fast.”

The Design Studio is charging the city $4,000 for the work, which will be done under the guidance of Lecturer Donnie Longenecker. During the meeting, he told the students, council and staff that each student would be expected to come up with three unique designs each. The council would be asked to say if they liked the design or not, and those that are liked will be looked at in more depth.

Before the students take to their drawing boards, however, they will be surveying residents throughout the community near the end of September.

“Students will talk to as many different segments of community as possible and see what people think of when they think of Covington,” Longenecker said.

Council Member Kenneth Morgan, Post 1 West, said he hoped citizens took advantage of the opportunity to share their thoughts about what Covington means to them.

Once the council selects a logo, sometime in early or mid-November, Longenecker said, they will design signage for the community.