Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen
Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen
It’s no surprise that Noblesville residents are unhappy over a new logo that Mayor Chris Jensen has unveiled for the city.
In August, Hiron’s, a downtown Indianapolis advertising agency, was contracted to design a new City of Noblesville logo for $20,000.
In October, the City made the announcement that it was seeking a new logo and wanted residents to vote on five different creations. Residents could have easily missed the poll because it was open for less than 72 hours. The City posted an announcement for the poll on social media at 11:17 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12, and closed the poll at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020.
It was obvious that residents did not like any of the five options in October, as one resident summed it up, “None of these represents anything about Noblesville.”
Most residents’ comments wanted to keep our traditional historic logo that featured the Historic Hamilton County Courthouse.
Within the past week, the City announced choosing an entirely different logo rather than choosing from the original five choices in the poll.
The new $20,000 “scalable” logo resembles a Noblesville star brick at the top, the 1823 incorporation date of Noblesville and a square box to represent the Downtown Square, minus the word “Indiana.” Blue colors represent the White River and Morse Reservoir.
After residents learned of the new $20,000 “scalable” logo, they voiced on social media their distaste for the chosen sixth logo, also questioning the city administration’s method of selection and the spending of $20,000 on a logo during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In case anyone wondered, contracting Hiron’s to create a new “scalable” logo for $20,000 did not need City Council approval.
However, past City Councilman Jeff Zeckel did offer a quite thorough response about the new logo choice: “Very disappointed to see that the city‘s administration wasted $20,000 of taxpayer money! They are supposed to be good stewards of our tax dollars. Just because there is a new administration doesn’t mean they have to reinvent the wheel for everything. In one fell swoop, they managed to eliminate over 180 years of our proud history! I hope there is a strong backlash in our community against this new logo! In my opinion there is nothing about the new logo that I like. We have bigger fish to fry than wasting $20,000 on a project that was not needed. Our community has other needs and priorities.”
Likely feeling pushback from residents, Mayor Jensen on Thursday addressed questions about the new $20,000 “scalable” logo in a prepared statement published in the local newspapers and social media, saying that Noblesville is a “modern, growing city of more than 63,000 residents that is open for business and respects its heritage.”
While the new $20,000 “scalable” logo would be updated on official City stationery and business cards, we would assume that all of the street signage in Noblesville that carries the current logo with the traditional Historic Courthouse would be updated with the new branding, or $20,000 “scalable” logo.
I reached out to Noblesville’s communication manager on Thursday before noon with some questions about this new $20,000 “scalable” logo.
I wanted to know the expected total budget for the changeover of logos. What is the estimated cost to change the logo with the Historic Courthouse to the new “$20,000 “scalable” logo, specifically on street signs? How many signs have the current city logo with the Historic Courthouse and would be replaced?
I also wanted to know the cost to design the logo (with the Historic Courthouse) which was created about 10 years ago. And who served on the committee to change and choose a new city logo this time around?
Being a daily newspaper, I had already requested to receive the City’s responses to my questions by the end of the day on Friday.
My media inquiry was forwarded on to Mayor Jensen’s new communications director, Emily Gaylord, who was among the several new appointments that the mayor brought with him in his new administration on Jan. 1, 2020. (Gaylord’s annual salary in 2020 was $77,473.25, according to Gateway Indiana, an open door into local government finance.) Interestingly, before working at the City of Noblesville, Gaylord was an account executive at Hirons, the same downtown Indianapolis advertising agency that created the City of Noblesville’s new $20,000 “scalable” logo.
Within the hour, I received a brief response to my questions, from Gaylord, merely stating: “The city will be replacing items as needed and is not intending to do a massive overhaul at one time. Please see Mayor Jensen’s statement,” the same statement that The Times published in Thursday’s edition.
I responded back, at 1:36 p.m. saying I’d already read Mayor Jensen’s statement and that I would still like the information requested because the budgets and the dollars spent should be public information and transparent for our taxpayers.
Gaylord responded three hours later, at 4:40 p.m., saying, “Our plan at this point is to replace most of our signs and other item containing logos at the time of their normal department replacement cycles.”
As far as my media request, Gaylord didn’t provide anything useful, but merely said, “As you may know, providing precise responses to your questions would require review of a number of records, which is expected to take longer than the deadline you provided. If you would like to obtain those records, you can complete a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request. Please refer again to our statement below regarding our selection and engagement process.”
Wouldn’t it be good public relations for the City to be transparent and share this information, even in the coming months, about the changeover costs to our taxpayers?
It’s the second time in two weeks that the City has not provided information for my media request, instructing me to complete a FOIA request if I want information.
(The FOIA request goes to a web portal that helps anyone outside of the City to communicate with the government about requested documents and information. The portal is at https://noblesvillein.justfoia.com/publicportal/home/newrequest.)
I encourage anyone who would like to voice their opinion about the city’s new $20,000 “scalable” logo to contact Mayor Jensen at cjensen@noblesville.in.us or call him on his personal cell phone, as he suggested in his public statement, at (317) 509-3134. I wish him lots of feedback.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.