By Roger Bleiler, Director of Communications
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a unique place, with a unique mission—and an even more unique logo. A graphic designer and personal friend recently commented that the Meijer Gardens logo is one of the most original and unusual logos she’d ever seen. It occurred to me that even though the logo is the most visible part of the Meijer Gardens communications, many people may not know much about how it came to be.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a logo is a design made up of text and images that helps guests identify one organization from another. Like most logos, the Meijer Gardens logo has two components: the logomark (the tree-like image that represents our mission) and the logotype (our name, designed in a customized way).
Here are some interesting factoids about our unique and enigmatic logo:
- In 2003, the West Michigan Botanic Society, dba Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (yes, that was our full name) commissioned a comprehensive brand evaluation from Grand Rapids-based De Meyer Brand Consultants. The two main recommendations were to shorten our name and to develop a new logo.
- In January 2004, Gregg Palazzolo of Ada—one of Michigan’s premier brand designers—was chosen from 18 candidates to design our new logo.
- Although many designs were submitted, the chosen design was clearly inspired by Kenneth Snelson’s B-Tree. As you can see in the comparison (above), the logomark is a free-form interpretation of the towering, stainless-steel abstract sculpture visible at the main entry.
- The logo colors—a playful bright spring green and an elegant charcoal gray—complement our mission of promoting the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment and the arts.
While it may not look like other brand identities, the Meijer Gardens logo identifies a unique guest experience that resonates with millions of guests of all ages. The distinctive spring green tree symbolizes a warm and welcoming community gathering place that’s always growing, always beautiful…and always new.