Last week, officials with the Carolina Classic Fair released two versions of its new logo for 2020 — then ducked.
Or so we could assume. The versions, shown here, would raise a certain amount of criticism even if they were designed by the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright. Criticism, especially via social media, is just part of the age in which we live.
But we do hope local residents will give the logo a chance. It might grow on them.
Cheryle Hartley, the fair director, said in a press release that the logo offers “a classic, yet modern twist for the new Carolina Classic Fair name.
“This logo and other variations will give us the creative ability to enhance our current website, advertising, signs, uniforms, letterhead and souvenirs.”
So it’s practical. That’s good.
The logo was designed by the award-winning graphic-design firm Elephant in the Room, a Winston-Salem company. Chad Cheek, the company’s president, said the goal was to create a logo that would be “somewhat nostalgic but also modern and timeless.
“Graphically, we were influenced by the lights of a Ferris wheel and the color bursts of fireworks and wanted to create something that invoked a sense of fun and warmth. ...”
The logo cost the city $10,000, split between the fair and the city’s marketing budget.
The early feedback on the Journal’s Facebook page, where the logo was displayed, was also split, ranging from “I love it. Good to see something fresh and current,” to “Not impressed, waste of money” — and, um, worse.
Unfortunately, comments also confirmed that some malcontents (we use the term with affection) are still unhappy about changing the name from “Dixie Classic Fair.” Some still refer to an unscientific online poll taken by the Journal that showed overwhelming support for the previous name.
Like it or not, the business world has learned over time that inclusiveness benefits commerce. Logos and slogans that suggest discriminatory attitudes can cut into profits. The name change is as much a concession to the free market as to objections to the morally questionable term “Dixie.”
The award for Best Attitude probably goes to the commentor who wrote, “Many things have changed in my life, but one that hasn’t is my yearly desire to see the smiling happy children . …” The fair by any name will still be tons of fun — that’s the bottom line.
For the record, we think the logo, particularly the round version with the darker background, is nice. It is reminiscent of a Ferris wheel and the simple font has a certain old-timey appeal.
And it could have been worse. It could have been “O! Winston-Salem!”
Many logos, over time, become part of a familiar but unconscious lexicon that we associate with warm memories. That may well happen in this case, and in 10 years when the suggestion is made to “freshen” it, resistance will arise. So it goes.
Our thanks to all who took on the unenviable task of creating a new icon. Let’s all give the logo a fair — no pun intended — shake.