Lake County Forest Preserve staff members will review the design of a proposed logo for its relocated and expanded museum after it received a less-than-enthusiastic reception this week from some forest board members.
But while some sharply criticized the design, forest district staff members defended it as a small piece of a broad branding effort for the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County, scheduled to open late this year.
The logo features the word "Dunn" followed by 'museum' separated into two blocks of three letters atop each other. Forest preserve officials refused to provide the image even though it was discussed at a public meeting and shown on a big screen during the presentation.
"It was an informational piece and the internal team will take into consideration everything that was stated," said Katherine Hamilton-Smith, the forest preserve's director of public affairs and development.
"It still needs refinement and the desire is to have it come out in a whole promotional package," she said.
District staff members have been working with Costello Communications, a Chicago firm, on the design of a logo and graphics to be used on stationery, merchandise, promotions and other applications. The total contract is for $23,600 and involves developing a position statement and designing stationery and exterior signs.
The process of how the museum would be named and branded was determined months ago and doesn't require further approval by elected officials.
Some on the forest board panned the logo after it was introduced Monday as part of a status report of the museum branding process.
"I could have done this. I don't think it's professional looking. We're going to have to own this thing," said Commissioner Judy Martini.
Commissioner Michael Danforth agreed.
"No offense, but it's probably one of the worst, uninspired logos I've ever seen," he said. "If I could vote it down, I would."
Others said they would have liked to have seen the words "Lake County" incorporated and thought the word "museum" might be better whole than having the first three letters of that word atop the last three.
"It is confusing," said Commissioner Bill Durkin. "It's almost like an eye test."
The version was selected from among about a dozen possibilities, said Nan Buckardt, the museum's director of education.
"We had a huge discussion. We spent a lot of time on something that could be timeless and unforgettable," she said.
The logo is the simplest form of messaging to shape public perception and considering it alone is out of context, she said.
"We're new. People know the Discovery Museum. This is going to be a different thing," she said.
Board President Ann Maine was among the logo's defenders.
"I think we could go back to another one (logo) and the other half of the (committee) would say, 'I hate that one,'" she said. "I think this will serve us well."
Commissioner Chuck Bartels said it would be impossible to get everyone to agree on a color, shape and other details for a logo.
"I like it and I trust the people and their expertise," he said.
The Lake County Discovery Museum operated since the 1970s at the Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda but is being moved to the district's office in Libertyville in a $1.6 million project.