New City of Las Vegas Logo Met with Disdain by Some Councilmembers for Being “Not Serious Enough”

Posted on: May 31, 2017, 10:00h. 

Last updated on: May 31, 2017, 10:42h.

An official ‘City of Las Vegas’ logo that was unveiled last fall is receiving mixed reviews from the city council. While many tourists don’t realize it, the city of Las Vegas is distinct from the more glamourous Strip, and encompasses primarily the downtown Fremont Street area, from a gambling perspective.

Las Vegas logo city council
The Las Vegas logo on the left has been called out for being not serious enough for the “we mean business” message that Mayor Carolyn Goodman and other councilmembers want to convey to potential industries about their city. (Image: City of Las Vegas/Collage:

But a burgeoning business and arts climate has left some of the city’s council feeling that the new logo doesn’t reflect its more serious side.

The girly, pink magenta script emblem wasn’t meant to replace the town’s longtime existing seal, but rather to complement it. However, some bureaucrats believe the new logo is being used too frequently, and in places where the city should present a more official-looking and business-oriented image.

“When I look at the logo, that doesn’t say official business to me, and that concerns me,” Councilman Ricki Barlow said at a recent meeting. “The seal [on the other hand] says official business.”

The problem, according to those voicing concerns over the colorful identity, is that the logo isn’t being used strictly for marketing purposes. Indeed, the pink Las Vegas font now covers official city vehicles, letterhead, business cards, employee uniforms, and more.

“All I’ve seen was basically the disappearing of the city seal,” Barrow concluded.

How We Got Here

About a year and a half ago, the city sought a new marketing identity. Designers submitted 20 ideas, and after councilmembers narrowed them down to four, they opened it up to public vote for the winner.

Victoria Hart’s Las Vegas logo emerged as the top pick in October 2016. Las Vegas paid her $10,000 for the concept, and spent another $50,000 executing the marketing plan that encompassed it.

Among the detractors to Hart’s design is City of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. “We are serious business here at the city,” she explained of her opposition. Goodman was instrumental in taking downtown Las Vegas’ once somewhat shady image and turning it into a now-thriving business and arts center that includes the Smith Center for the Performing Arts, shoe manufacturer Zappos and the edgy Container Park shopping mall, where former shipping crates have been turned into storefronts.

But not all officials concur with Goodman’s assessment. Councilmen Steve Ross and Stavros Anthony said they enjoy the new look, while Bob Coffin asked, “Have we overthought it?”

No motion to repeal Hart’s logo was made during a recent council meeting, though the board says it will continue the discussion in July. In the meantime, an online store selling branded materials with the pink emblem is set to launch next week.

Too Flashy for Las Vegas?

Some might find it a bit humorous that the City of Las Vegas would be concerned their new logo presents a too flashy image. The most celebrated gambling town in the world, both famed and notorious for its nightlife, is the epicenter of the tourism and hospitality industries.

But the area most visitors call Las Vegas is located in the unincorporated towns of Paradise and Winchester in Clark County. The Stratosphere is the only Strip resort inside the city boundaries, though the northern end of the main drag is often cited at SLS Las Vegas (the former Sahara), just south of the observation tower.

And the most famous Las Vegas sign, the marquee landmark that reads, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” marks the southern end of the Strip, and is some 4.5 miles outside of the actual city limits.

Despite often being referred to as the less chichi cousin of the Strip and all its glitz and glamor, the City of Las Vegas still has plenty to crow about these days. Along with its business and arts districts renaissance, Downtown Las Vegas is home to Fremont Street, which is now outpacing the Strip in terms of casino revenue percentage gains in recent months.