Hidden treasure idea inspires new zoo logo





Lee Richardson Zoo on Tuesday unveiled a new logo that incorporates the idea of the zoo as a hidden treasure in southwest Kansas while also providing a variation from Garden City's yucca plant logo design.

"The original thought was with the rebranding of Garden City, we wanted to try and incorporate that yucca that they had that represented so many things in Garden City," Kathy Sexson, zoo director, said. "It's also an anniversary year. We're 85 years old, so this is kind of a finale for the year, but it also fell on the coattails of community rebranding."

Designed by New Boston Creative of Manhattan, with input from a zoo committee, the new logo includes a lion's tail, monkey's tail, a feather, a pronghorn and a leaf as fronds of the yucca plant. Sexson said the process took a couple of months to complete and cost about $4,000, which was covered by a grant.

Doing away with the zoo's old logo, an elephant and zoo name in burgundy, does not imply anything against elephants, Sexson said.

"We're still going to keep elephants," she said. "That one had been in existence for about 10 years, and there wasn't anything wrong with it. We were just sort of inspired by the new rebranding. I thought, at the beginning, we could incorporate that (the elephant), but the ideas we came up with didn't speak to us as much as the design we went with."

The new logo will be incorporated on things like stationery, business cards and name tags fairly quickly. The zoo's website already features the new logo. Eventually, the design will be put up on directional signs and anything that had the old logo.

"But we won't take everything down and put up the new one right away. It will be a more phased-in type of change. People will see the old logo for a while, and the new one will gradually take its place," Sexson said.

Sexson said she likes the final result, and she believes that it says a lot of different things.

"It has the different components that represent mammals and birds and different animals that are here, just kind of hinting at them. People may not see them at first, but the closer you look, it reveals things you might see at the zoo," she said. "We also hear a lot from visitors that they're amazed to find a zoo like this, so it's a hidden treasure for the region. It sort of goes at the hidden treasure angle in a couple of ways."

The zoo unveiled the design in pieces over several days. To view an animated version, visit the zoo's website at www.leerichardson.org.

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