Austin, Minnesota rejects new Spam-inspired logo


On Monday, the Austin City Council canned the city's new Spam-like logo that took a year and $53,000 to design. The unanimous decision was made just three weeks after the logo was unveiled.

"Everybody hated it. It was universal. It unified everybody," Mayor Tom Stiehm said. "We've got the whole community involved now because they hated [it] so much." See also: Spam: It's not just for inboxes anymore

The widespread dissatisfaction over the logo stemmed from the fact that Haberman, a Minneapolis-based company, was contracted for the design, rather than a local artist, Austin resident Brittany Perry said.

To make matters worse, the logo was designed to look like a can of Spam -- which probably isn't what most Austin residents want to be known for -- but ended up looking more like a can of sardines. The vibrant blue logo also featured the words "Talent Packed" underneath the Spam can, which we can only assume refers to the talents of Hormel, the Austin-based makers of the canned meat product.

"People are upset that there was so much money was spent outside the community and then the logo didn't turn out great so that kind of fueled the fire," Perry said.

But only $10,000 of the $53,000 actually came from the city. The majority of the funds -- $35,000, to be exact -- were provided by the Hormel Foundation.

"The Hormel Foundation funds this -- not the Hormel company." Steihm added. "I've [even] had Hormel execs call and say there's more to Austin than Hormel."

Austin City Council won't attempt another redesign for at least a few months, as their council's first goal is to redesign the city's website.

In the meantime, residents are encouraged to work on their own designs.

"We're probably going to have a contest for a logo [this summer]," Steihn said. City Council members are still discussing compensation for the winning design, but Stiehm said it will fall somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000.

Most residents are happy with the old Austin logo, Perry said.

"We have great things here already," she added. "Let's invest in those and make those things better."

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