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Flathead County Library Board kicks logo design back to committee

by TAYLOR INMAN
Daily Inter Lake | June 30, 2024 12:00 AM

Bowing to repeated calls for a more professional design for a future logo, the Flathead County Library Board opted Thursday to go back to the drawing board.

The move came after the board issued an open call for designs from the community. Submissions were narrowed down to five choices by library trustees and put to a public vote between the board’s May and June meetings.  

The board voted in February to return to the library system’s original name, leaving behind the ImagineIF logo. A two-year timeline was laid out for the switch with a projected price tag of about $7,000, which didn’t include an estimate for logo design. 

Residents who weighed in during public comment about the logo over the last few months have asked the board to consider paying a graphic designer to create a new one, rather than relying on pro-bono work or submissions from nonprofessionals.  

Thursday’s meeting was no different. Trustees were about to vote on approving option #2, which got the most votes at 154. That design featured a book opening at the base of a mountain, but those present for public comment asked them to reconsider.  

“[Board Vice Chair Carmen Cuthbertson] brought up the fact that you're going to embark on a major fundraising campaign,” said Margaret Davis, referencing a future Kalispell branch. “And if you're going to fundraise $20 million for a new facility, having a reasonable, professional, satisfactory logo is money well spent.”  

The $20 million figure for a new Kalispell facility is an estimate that the board’s Facilities Committee has mentioned during past discussions. 

While some trustees, like Cuthbertson, have been adamant that the board can get by with a design from an amateur or pro-bono designer, others like Trustee Jane Wheeler disagreed.  

Trustee Doug Adams said it would be hard to satisfy everyone when picking a logo, particularly if taxpayer dollars are involved. But, he suggested the matter could go back to the Public Relations committee, which could start reaching out to graphic designers for quotes. That was put to a motion with all but Cuthbertson voting in favor.  

When it comes to cost, ImagineIF Foundation Director Sara Busse said her organization’s most recent logo redesign cost $2,500. The Public Relations Committee, which consists of Cuthbertson and Trustee Heidi Roedel, will reach out to graphic design firms to get quotes and bring recommendations back to the board, including estimated cost and a timeline for completion. 

While Adams said he’d like to see the logo design get resolved quickly, Wheeler said it’s OK if it takes a few months to make a decision. 

“If this takes us four months, that’s not the end of the world,” Wheeler said. “We just need to do it and do it right.” 

Reporter Taylor Inman can be reached at 406-758-4433 or by emailing tinman@dailyinterlake.com.