What image does Macon-Bibb County bring to mind?
While officials are working out the legal details of merging the city and county by Jan. 1, the choice of the consolidated governments emblem is open to the general public.
The contest for a new Macon-Bibb County official seal is open to anyone -- not just professional designers, not only local residents, not just adults. It was scheduled to end Friday, but after several weeks no entries have come in. So the contest will remain open a little longer.
Were going to be extending the deadline a bit -- two weeks, to the 25th, said Nick Kouloungis, director of technology services for the Middle Georgia Regional Commission.
City and county representatives have gone out to schools and are hoping to cast as wide a net for ideas as possible.
Weve been reaching out to different organizations like the colleges and Macon Arts Alliance to sort of educate them about what were doing, Kouloungis said.
The communications team of the task force working on consolidation, working with city and county staff, could have easily designed a new logo in-house, said Trae McCombs, the citys multimedia manager. But they decided it should be a community effort, and the task force agreed. The overall consolidation effort is one of participation and unity, so designing a new official seal should likewise be as public a process as possible, he said.
McCombs and others have looked at many seals from cities and counties around the country and offer a few as examples to spark ideas. But Kouloungis cautions that theyre looking for something thats representative of the community, positive, inclusive and timeless -- not any specific themes or graphic elements.
We dont want to bias the ultimate selection of the contest, he said.
The seal will be used in any number of ways: on official letterhead, business cards, websites, advertising and on the sides of vehicles, so it has to be something versatile and functional, Kouloungis said.
A city-county committee, including graphic artists, will evaluate the designs, and the task force will pick the winner. The new government would vote to adopt a seal when it comes into effect Jan. 1.
In the past few weeks ,McCombs said, hes gotten three or four calls expressing interest but no actual submissions.
Several people have made user accounts on the concept website so they can submit a design, said Justin Crum, the city webmaster.
Kouloungis said registration is so judges can contact submitters and work with them on a final design. Theyre hoping for a wide variety, not just work from professional designers, though theyre also welcome, he said. Kouloungis is looking forward to seeing what schoolchildren can produce.
Submitted designs can be pencil sketches, paintings, even crayon drawings, as long as its scanned and sent in electronically. A selection committee will work with the chosen artist or artists to produce a professional final design.
Individuals or groups can submit up to two entries each. Full rules and an entry form are available at contest.maconbibb.us.
The winning artist will be featured in an article on the new governments website for a year and also on a MaconBibb TV Update show.
Contact McCombs for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 478-447-0344.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.