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Bill aims to revamp North Dakota’s brand with new state logo

January 18, 2019
In this Thursday. Jan. 17, 2019 photo, state Reps. Marvin Nelson, D-Rolla,, left, and LaurieBeth Hager, D-Fargo, hold a tag with the official North Dakota logo in Bismarck, N.D. The two lawmakers are not fans of the state's official logo. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota lawmaker has introduced legislation to pursue a new state logo as part of efforts to revamp state tourism.

Democratic Rep. Marvin Nelson sponsored a bill to direct the North Dakota Department of Commerce to oversee a competition for entrants to create a new logo to be selected in time for the state’s 2020 travel guide, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

“Everyone I talk to absolutely hates the current logo,” Nelson said. “This is supposed to brand our state for the next decade or so, and I think our tourism industry’s too important to have this out there as the image of North Dakota.”

The National Park Service has said tourism was worth about $56 million to the state in 2017.

Sara Otte Coleman, North Dakota Tourism Director, said the process for the “refreshed” brand began about 18 months ago and developed as an effort to unify state agencies and programs.

The tourism division presented the new “Be Legendary” brand in October, replacing the longtime “North Dakota Legendary” logo.

The two logos are markedly different in their appearance. “Legendary” has a slanted, Western-style script, while “Be Legendary” is sparer and appears to use three different fonts varying in size.

The proposed legislative measure would appropriate $90,000 for contest winners, including $50,000 for first place.

Otte Coleman also noted that she likely won’t testify nor take a stance on the proposed bill, though she did acknowledge displeasure she’s received on the current logo.

“Any time you do a new logo, it’s kind of like approval ratings,” Otte Coleman said. “You never know where you’re going to come out on those.”

Nelson asserted his bill at its base intends to have a conversation about the state’s logo, regardless if his effort doesn’t pass.

“This is the public image of our state,” Nelson said.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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