The Park District of Forest Park is looking to redo its logo and create a common brand for its increasing array of parks and facilities.
In his presentation during the Jan. 19 meeting of the park’s commissioners, Adam Cumbee, park district marketing manager, emphasized they were only starting the process, comparing it to a baby who wasn’t old enough to eat solid foods, let alone walk. He said with the renovations of Reiger and Popelka pocket parks coming later this year, and other improvements further down the line, the staff thought they needed to think what to put on the new park signs, and whether they wanted to change anything. Cumbee also argued this was a good opportunity to create a unified identity for all facilities such as the Aquatic Center, 7501 Harrison St., and the Roos Recreation Center, 7329 Harrison St.
Reiger Park is at 1526 Circle Ave. Popelka Park is at Adams and Thomas. Remembrance Park is at 7341 Randolph.
The park district currently has multiple projects coming down the pipeline. District executive director Jackie Iovinelli said they are expected to go to bid for Reiger Park improvements in March and get the contract by April. Work on Popelka Park is also expected to begin this spring. Further down the line, the park district applied for a $600,000 state Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant to help cover the renovations of Remembrance Park.
“Fingers crossed, we’ll find out [whether we got the grant] next week,” Iovinelli said.
Even further down the line, the park district is looking to build a new indoor facility at 7400-7412 Harrison St., on property it acquired and cleared last year across the street from its main campus.
When the park district took over the responsibility for operating and maintaining four village-owned pocket parks, it inherited village-branded signage – or, in the case of Popelka Park, no signage at all. And while the park district already has a simple, leaf-shaped logo, Roos uses the letter ‘R” inside a lime-green “C” inside a purple circle. For the past few years, the Aquatic Center had a black-and-white triangular logo, but a variant introduced late last summer moved toward a more unified branding, adding the leaf in the middle of the triangle,
“Our biggest problem is people don’t know that the Aquatic Center is park distinct, that Roos is park district,” Cumbee told the board.
He said that he and Iovinelli looked at the logos in park districts throughout the Chicago area and around the country. They found that many park district logos are relatively simple.
“It’s a tree and the park distinct name, or a sunshine and the park distinct name,” Cumbee said. “Most of [those park districts] have larger marketing departments. Some of those are six-figure logos, but they’re simple.”
He said one idea the park district might consider is sticking with a leaf as a common element and adding some variation for different facilities. Cumbee said the tree might not be appropriate for a park district “that doesn’t have a whole lot of trees.” He also thought that it might make sense to incorporate Roos’ pale blue color scheme.
In a follow-up interview, Cumbee emphasized he was just tossing out ideas, and the board and the staff will refine it into something more tangible over the next few months. Iovinelli said they hope to finish the process by May 1.
Monique Cotton-Yancy, a Forest Park School District 91 board member, who said she attended the Jan. 19 meeting out of simple curiosity, asked whether the public would have a chance to weigh in on the new logo. Cumbee said that will happen once the park district has a few potential logos nailed down.
“Once we’re comfortable in putting it out there, the plan is to get a little feedback,” he said. “Feedback is going to be a big part of it.”