Proposed Canal Winchester logo sparks debate

Depending on whom you talk to, a new logo and tag line representing Canal Winchester is either a great way to represent the hometown atmosphere of the village or an ugly design eschewing its historical beginnings.

The image features a stylized version of the cupola topping the train depot underlined by the phrase "feels like home." Working with a professional firm, Main Street Executive Director John Garrett said a committee comprised of representatives from the historical society, Main Street program, village, and chamber deliberated on various designs before approving the new logo.

"This is an ongoing branding project that started five to six years ago, but really didn’t get off the ground until a couple of years ago," reported Garrett during Canal Winchester council’s Aug. 6 meeting. "The mayor and staff took our recommendation to take a look at branding Canal Winchester and get us under one logo. Main Street Canal Winchester brought the idea of a logo/brand to the committee. Each organization adopted the new logo and we’re hoping council will do the same. We have many different logos and felt it was a real mismatch. We want to make it something everyone recognizes."

Despite Garrett’s enthusiasm, residents discussing the final design did not want to jump on the bandwagon and characterized aspects of the logo as either corny or cruddy. Council members held the first reading on a resolution adopting the design and Mayor Jeff Miller said use of the tag line is optional.

"Branding does make sense from a marketing point of view," commented resident Tony Note, "but when I see the words ‘feels like home’ in conjunction with a picture of the railroad station-when this village is named after a canal-it kind of strikes me as being a slap in the face to the real history of this community. I think a better solution could have been arrived at. ‘Feels Like Home’ sounds a little corny."

Local historian and long-time resident Frances Steube told council and administrators that bats and pigeons live in the cupola featured in the design and the village wasted its money by paying for the design work.

"…they don’t know Canal Winchester history either, otherwise they wouldn’t have submitted a logo like this," asserted Steube. "The railroad didn’t come in until 1865. When was the canal here?  Many years before that. We certainly can’t cross out part of our history. I’m against it. I think it’s a cruddy idea."

Other CW news

•Council held a first reading on an ordinance banning sexually oriented offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any public/private schools, daycare, preschool, village-owned public park, playground, library, or public swimming pool. Legal Director Gene Hollins said the ordinance is based on one created by Hilliard and under consideration by Grandview.

•Owners of golf carts in Canal Winchester can now legally drive their vehicles on roads with posted speed limits of less than 35 miles per hour as long as the carts are inspected and approved by Fairfield County deputy sheriffs.

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