PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Voters in the city have decided that a star infused with yellow, green and blue to represent the city’s summer landscape and an accompanying slogan is the best logo to showcase Presque Isle’s downtown.
Presque Isle was incorporated as a town on April 4, 1859, and the city has been celebrating its 150th anniversary all year. The sesquicentennial fete included a huge parade Saturday in which a new logo to market the downtown was unveiled.
After the votes were counted, the parade became a forum to display the winning logo — a large star, painted yellow, green and blue to represent the city’s fields, waterways and summer sunshine. The star — representing the “Star City” — is affixed to a white background with the words “Downtown Presque Isle” accompanied by the slogan “Shine on. Good Times.”
The second logo choice contained star-shaped snowflakes that evoked the city’s winter landscape. It also featured the tag line “Shine On. Good Times.”
The options were unveiled by the city’s Downtown Revitalization Committee and Fort Kent-based graphic designer Heidi Carter during a meeting at the Presque Isle Rotary Club in May. Carter is the owner and creative director of Heidesign, the firm that designed the logos.
A public vote to declare a winner was held after the logos were unveiled.
The city’s downtown has few vacant storefronts and is a mixture of office, shopping and entertainment space.
Business owners operate restaurants, bars, sell home decorations and collectibles unavailable at the Aroostook Centre Mall on the outskirts of the city. The Northeastland Hotel caters to visitors, and the Braden Theater reopened in 2008, once again offering movies after the seats sat vacant since 1993.
Theresa Fowler, executive director of the Presque Isle Area Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that she likes the new logo.
“I like the summer logo,” she said. “Everyone knows Presque Isle has great winter activities and that the city is a winter destination. I think the summer logo will encourage tourists to enjoy all of the seasons here.”
Angie Graves, owner of Merchants on the Corner LLC in the downtown, was not as enthusiastic.
“I have not been in favor of the logos since the start,” she said Monday afternoon. “From the beginning, I have felt that we should have had a contest and offered a prize to get local artists to submit their work. I was not in favor of hiring a professional company to do it.”
Graves said she also did not like the slogan and did not believe the logo would bring more shoppers to the area.
A short distance away at Morning Star Art and Framing, co-owner Brian Brissette said he was happy with the new downtown logo.
“The downtown is a vital part of the community, and I hope this does bring more shoppers down here,” he said Monday afternoon. “But this is a team effort. You need the logo and the right combination of other things, such as a variety of shops where you can get unique gifts. I am happy with the choice that was made.”
City planner James Francomano acknowledged Monday that there are always going to be people who do not like the results of a project, but stressed that committee members tried their best to get everyone’s opinion on what a downtown logo should look like. He said the summer logo was favored by voters by 2-to-1.
“The committee worked very hard and I believe the voters picked a logo that reveals a great deal of what the downtown has to offer,” said Francomano.
The Downtown Revitalization Committee posted the new logo on its Web site right after it was unveiled, and members already have delivered window decals featuring the new logo and slogan to businesses in the downtown.