Infinite Horizons: Some Thoughts From Away

It’s been a few weeks since the city launched its new brand, Infinite Horizons, and I’m sure it’s drifted from everyone’s mind by now. But, back when we were working up our coverage of it, I had some correspondence with the only Regina graphic designers I know (actual prairie dog employees excluded), Lee Henderson and Seema Goel. Neither of them live in Regina at present but they’re both from here and are now reduced to just looking in, enviously, at all our city’s awesome potential.

Now, personally, I mostly fall on the “in favour” side of the new brand debate. Lee and Seema? Not so much. So I thought it might be fun to post some thoughts on the new brand from some Regina expats.

And as this will be a rather long post, I also thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try out the Read More tag this fancy new blog sports. So, read some Lee and Seema after the jump….

Here are some thoughts from Lee Henderson:

It looks like it’s advertising a new combination theme-park-and-airport. I don’t understand how the multiple colours are supposed to relate to the city, apart, maybe, from some misguided and circa-1980 attempt to make it look “multicultural.”

It’s highly corporatist in its vernacular, although less so than our previous image which foolishly used private, corporate buildings in an attempt to represent a public, civil entity. I still don’t understand what was wrong with the crown; loaded symbol of imperialism or not, it’s no more tied to the aristocracy than the word “Regina” (and actually helped to minimize the gynaecological suggestion of pronouncing “Regina” with a soft ‘g’ and long ‘i’).

The slogan isn’t so bad, with the caveat that it doesn’t promise anything but possibility–the possibility of what? “Why, anything you like, sir, anything you like…”

And here are some thoughts from Seema Goel (who was an occasional prairie dog contributor, I should note):

While it’s my own project, so this is oddly self serving,  $400,000 could produce 15-20 heated bus shelters that also happen to be beautiful and make the city easier to live in.

It used to be that in Regina you could do anything, get away with a crazy art stunt, start a group, begin change etc. quite easily. There was a sense of an “infinite horizon.” The first time I did a projection on City Hall they helped out, enlisted the assistance of maintenance, and even did a press release. The second time they needed a million dollar liability insurance policy to be in place – for a projection? When I wanted to place some transparent images into the bus shelters to draw attention to their inadequacies, I was again told I needed insurance “in case someone is distracted by the image and crashes into it or something else.” I asked my insurance company about this and their response was, “Um, that’s called negligent driving. There is no insurance against distraction.”

The city seems to be increasingly about corporate culture and protecting its ass than than doing anything to improve living conditions or encouraging interesting projects. I would say that Regina has curtailed some horizons rather drastically.

If [Fiacco] wants to attract people to the city, which is his primary claim for the rebranding, maybe he ought to consider improving services and ditching the sketchy planning practices (Harbor Landing anyone?) rather than worrying about the slogan that goes on a button.

Planning, now maybe that would be a good place to start. How about building a city that follows an urban plan that is about people using and living in the city, and not behaving like a besotted 12 year old infatuated with Calgary.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

2 thoughts on “Infinite Horizons: Some Thoughts From Away”

  1. $400,000 on an incredibly ugly new city logo (which wasn’t even made using Regina business) was a terrible idea. That money could have been used for some much needed inner city developement to conteract the rediculous urban sprawl this city has seen in recent years.

  2. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Fiacco seems to think he can attract more people by having nothing every happen here that isn’t entirely planned and contrived and won’t allow anything to be planned or contrived that doesn’t happen everywhere else. We can’t paint fire hyrdrants because, apparently, our fire fighters are retarded. The sign bylaws are about silencing political messages, nothing to do with safety or there wouldn’t be billboards. So, nothing really exciting happens here. But it’s also citizens who are to blame. I tried to get people watching from the street to rush the gates at the AC/DC show and the pussies wouldn’t do it. During the garbage strike, the joybuzzard crew tried to get people to dump their garbage in front of city hall to support the strikers, or in front of the union office to support the city. That would have been cool, but this city is too pussy for cool and that’s it’s problem. Film crews come in, film their movie, and go away. If this city was cool, some of them would stay and make it cooler. Stupid logos don’t attract people from outside. Charactar attracts people from outside, and city hall/leaderpost, etc. have all worked together to destroy any genuine charactar this city tries to show because they won’t stop listening to marketting retards who have already proven themselves to be wrong about everything.

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