The City of Mission’s image is getting a makeover.
Councillors unanimously voted to embark on a rebranding process on Feb. 7, which includes changing the slogan, fonts, colours, and the logo bearing Westminster Abbey’s bell tower on a hill over the Fraser River.
“Mission’s visual identity should have the depth to authentically nurture intercultural knowledge, celebrate multiculturalism, and foster inclusion,” the report says.
The project has been in discussion since 2019, and staff see an opportunity to revamp the “underdeveloped brand” alongside Mission’s reclassification to a city last June, said Taryn Hubbard, manager of communications.
The staff report states the 15-year-old brand “narrows the extent of our story,” when it should reflect the diversity of its residents and their histories, and inspire civic pride and belonging.
It’s currently just the one graphic, and its elements that are used inconsistently and ineffectively across the city, according to staff.
Mayor Paul Horn said it was never designed to be the city’s logo, but was adopted from the city’s economic development corporation as a cost saving measure. He added that Mission’s community and business leaders strongly support rebranding.
“It’s not only a change in our name, but literally and clearly a change in our ethos that we are becoming a city,” Horn said. “Part of that will be capturing the words, stories, pictures and the turns of phrase that describe who we are.”
The report states that Westminster Abbey didn’t move to the city until 1954, the community is not emotionally connected to it, and the religious symbolism can be seen as insensitive considering the legacy of St. Mary’s Residential School.
Coun. Carol Hamilton said she disagreed with completely removing the bell tower from the brand, because she and other longtime residents do identify with it.
“We can’t lose sight of it,” Hamilton said. “When you’re driving west into Mission, you see the bell tower.”
Hubbard said there are other opportunities to expand Mission’s brand beyond just the main logo.
The rebanding process will take years and will be carried out in phases.
Phase 1 has a budget of $90,000 and includes a community engagement process in Winter 2022, hiring a graphic designer the following Spring, selection, and then the initial implementation in Fall.
The community engagement will include public surveys and interviews about the concepts with local First Nations, residents, community groups, businesses, and local students, to name just a few.
“That feedback will inform the material that’s given to a professional graphic designer, who will take those ideas and distill it into three ideas,” Hubbard said. Council will then have to make a decision.
The brand will then be implemented across the Mission. The city’s website will also be completely redesigned.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.