I’m still trying to work through the city of Troy’s new logo.
You’ve probably seen it by now. It’s a blue and orange circle that says “Troy, Ohio” and “Make It Yours.”
I guess it’s all about branding these days. I can remember back in the 1960s, when I was still a kid, Troy started actively promoting itself with the slogan “Where City Pride is City Wide.” That might seem a little bit wordy and it certainly was statement of questionable accuracy, but times were different then.
I have one of the chamber of commerce’s promotional books from back in 1976 and right there on the cover, in big letters, it says “Where City Pride is City Wide.” It has a cool little logo in the shape of Ohio with a star where Troy is located. It also has a rather inexplicable picture showing the old GTE building on the corner of Franklin and Market Streets. You know, the one building downtown that doesn’t match anything else and that seems to have been set down on the corner by aliens. We were proud of everything back then.
This slogan lasted until the city decided it needed to reach out even more and started courting international companies. Civic pride went in the Dumpster and was replaced by “Troy, Ohio USA.” The USA was added because, surprisingly enough to those of us who lived here, it turned out people in Munich and Kyoto had no idea where Troy was and had only a vague idea about Ohio. The USA cleared things up.
It also helped make a nice little logo that could be made into a pin that Mayor Pete Jenkins could pass out everywhere he went. Mayor Pete went to a lot of places. I think at one time every school-age child in Japan had a “Troy, Ohio USA” pin.
In recent years, though, the old design seemed to be getting a little stale. Anyone with a cell phone, which is everyone in Asia and Europe, can look up Troy, Ohio in a second. The whole “USA” thing seemed kind of senseless.
So we got our new logo. If I were cynical, I would say “Make It Yours” sounds like an open invitation to burglary. But I am not the cynical type. I understand what you need today is something pithy, something in the active voice. We want to say Troy is a happening place. Fulfill your destiny! Come to Troy! Make it Yours!
Other cities are trying to do the same thing. The City of Huber Heights has “Come Grow With Us” as its slogan. This seemed pretty cool until there was a big fight in the city over allowing marijuana producers into town. Then it became kind of ironic. Maybe they could sell their slogan to Yellow Springs.
Piqua’s current slogan is “Where Vision Becomes Reality.” I like it, although I like it even better as a slogan for an optometrist.
Dayton is making a comeback so it has avoided what looked like would be its next slogan: “A City Used to Be Here.”
As for our new identity here in Troy, I’m becoming accustomed to all the blue paint (although it’s already peeling off the light poles downtown. Some of them now are a combination of blue and the green that was underneath). I’m even getting used to all the new little orange and blue “Historic District” signs downtown.
As for the logo, well, it’s a done deal. The city trucks have been painted, the stationary has been printed, and really the best thing to do is just embrace it. Make it Happen! Make it Work! Make it Your Own! Make it Your Dream! Just Make It!
Wow. I think I just solved our slogan problem for the next century or so. All we need now is some cool little pins for future mayors to spread around the globe.
David Lindeman is a Troy resident and former editor at the Troy Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.