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Ask John Neely Bryan: A Post-Modern Logo For the City of Dallas

Only the founder of Dallas could hit upon this unique solution.
By John Neely Bryan |
John Neely Bryan, Our Founder
John Neely Bryan, Our Founder

Question: How do you feel about this new logo for your city? Sure, it looks a lot like Plano’s starry P, and Arlington has a star shoved up their A too. But, looking at some of the others, what do they say to people? Irving has horses, Desoto’s eagle is proof of their All-American-ness. Richardson, well, people all over Richardson are trying to figure theirs out. The winner in my book is Addison, which with its jaunty logo, really spells “Party!” What is your opinion on this move? Are we turning into a regional star like Plano and Arlington? Should we keep the branch of nature in our D? Do we need more marketing? And if you have a recipe of two from the 1800’s, I’d love to discuss. — Amy S.

If only the current municipal governance of Dallas had the same wisdom and fortitude of character that you have demonstrated with your query, dear reader, I might could have spared them the wasted time involved in consulting those ne’er-do-wells who prattle on around the old horseshoe each week as to the possibility and probability of replacing the current city logo (the one which comes garnished by a side of parsley) with the star-emblazoned iconography devised by the Convention & Visitors Politburo.

In reading George Dealey’s rag’s full-throated defense of the status quo, I bristled yet again to see you 21st-century folks worship at the wrongheaded cult of Latest = Greatest. When did what’s “modern” become an unquestioned good? What in tarnation is wrong with the tried and the true?

City of dallas logo
This city’s “modern” logo.

It’s like all these home-improvement shows available for viewing on the televisor. I have recently been contemplating the construction of an addition to my abode, so I thought I might take in a number of programs as a means of discerning the possibilities. Well, I soon turned away in disgust.

Every single person on these shows walks into a house they’re considering for purchase and complains that it needs updating — a more “modern” style — creating an “open concept” wherein the kitchen/dining/living areas are one giant space. Why the hell do all you folks want to force your guests to have to look at your dirty sinks full of dishes? And what’s with your irrational hatred of separate rooms? Speaking from the experience of having spent much of my corporeal existence in single-room log cabins, what I wouldn’t have given for an interior wall!

Just once I’d like to have seen an episode with a prospective buyer who walks in a house and says she wants a “closed kitchen” with “old-fashioned” interiors. And it’d be nice if everybody weren’t so concerned with “entertaining.” In nearly every case, there’s also a comment about whether a space is or isn’t great for having friends over for a dinner party. Won’t at least one brave soul own up to the fact that “entertaining” is the worst?

“Entertaining” spaces are much the same as pools or boats — it’s way more fun to have a friend with one, who will invite you over to enjoy it occasionally and spares you the upkeep. The inability of today’s Americans to confront the truth about themselves is truly astonishing.

As is this egregious situation in which I was not contacted ahead of last week’s City Council briefing to provide input on the new logo. However, I shall set aside my disgust, for the good of the many, in order to ensure that Dallas hits upon the proper course.

My considerable knowledge of the marketing and advertising games informs me that the most important element of branding is standing out, of setting oneself apart. To that end, the logo I am herewith offering and expect will attract unanimous support among city leadership accomplishes this mission by refusing to run off the cliff of modernism with the rest of you lemmings. It strikes a blow for the time-tested value of authenticity and clarity. It rejects the notion that, in messaging, “less is more.” I don’t know what arithmetic you were taught, but in my primer more was always more.

Therefore, without further ado:

My post-modern solution
My post-modern solution


Any city councilor with an ounce of common sense and a dollop of courage will move for immediate adoption of this logo and the publication of its accompanying message in full-page ads in all of the top periodicals throughout Texas and the United States. Think how much attention Dallas will attract through this campaign. Think how much curiosity will be stirred among potential visitors and residents alike.


Awaiting the mayor’s letter of thanks,

John Neely Bryan is founder of the city of Dallas and an expert on all matters. For advice, to have a dispute adjudicated, or seeking wisdom on any of a myriad of topics, [email protected].

P.S. DM me for my possum a l’orange recipe.

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