It’s been a few weeks since the city launched its new brand, Infinite Horizons, and I’m sure it’s drifted from everyone’s mind by now. But, back when we were working up our coverage of it, I had some correspondence with the only Regina graphic designers I know (actual prairie dog employees excluded), Lee Henderson and Seema Goel. Neither of them live in Regina at present but they’re both from here and are now reduced to just looking in, enviously, at all our city’s awesome potential.

Now, personally, I mostly fall on the “in favour” side of the new brand debate. Lee and Seema? Not so much. So I thought it might be fun to post some thoughts on the new brand from some Regina expats.

And as this will be a rather long post, I also thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try out the Read More tag this fancy new blog sports. So, read some Lee and Seema after the jump….

Here are some thoughts from Lee Henderson:

It looks like it’s advertising a new combination theme-park-and-airport. I don’t understand how the multiple colours are supposed to relate to the city, apart, maybe, from some misguided and circa-1980 attempt to make it look “multicultural.”

It’s highly corporatist in its vernacular, although less so than our previous image which foolishly used private, corporate buildings in an attempt to represent a public, civil entity. I still don’t understand what was wrong with the crown; loaded symbol of imperialism or not, it’s no more tied to the aristocracy than the word “Regina” (and actually helped to minimize the gynaecological suggestion of pronouncing “Regina” with a soft ‘g’ and long ‘i’).

The slogan isn’t so bad, with the caveat that it doesn’t promise anything but possibility–the possibility of what? “Why, anything you like, sir, anything you like…”

And here are some thoughts from Seema Goel (who was an occasional prairie dog contributor, I should note):

While it’s my own project, so this is oddly self serving,  $400,000 could produce 15-20 heated bus shelters that also happen to be beautiful and make the city easier to live in.

It used to be that in Regina you could do anything, get away with a crazy art stunt, start a group, begin change etc. quite easily. There was a sense of an “infinite horizon.” The first time I did a projection on City Hall they helped out, enlisted the assistance of maintenance, and even did a press release. The second time they needed a million dollar liability insurance policy to be in place – for a projection? When I wanted to place some transparent images into the bus shelters to draw attention to their inadequacies, I was again told I needed insurance “in case someone is distracted by the image and crashes into it or something else.” I asked my insurance company about this and their response was, “Um, that’s called negligent driving. There is no insurance against distraction.”

The city seems to be increasingly about corporate culture and protecting its ass than than doing anything to improve living conditions or encouraging interesting projects. I would say that Regina has curtailed some horizons rather drastically.

If [Fiacco] wants to attract people to the city, which is his primary claim for the rebranding, maybe he ought to consider improving services and ditching the sketchy planning practices (Harbor Landing anyone?) rather than worrying about the slogan that goes on a button.

Planning, now maybe that would be a good place to start. How about building a city that follows an urban plan that is about people using and living in the city, and not behaving like a besotted 12 year old infatuated with Calgary.