Belfast Telegraph

In our cash-strapped times would you spend £30k on this new logo? Well, Derry City and Strabane Council has

Think you can do better? Send us your own attempts at a new logo

By Donna Deeney

A new logo for Derry City and Strabane District Council that cost tens of thousands of pounds of ratepayers' money has been branded "terrible" and "the best of a bad bunch".

Think you can do better? Send us your logo ideas here entitled 'New logo' - accompanied by an attached image and include your name if you wish.

The sign, showing an 'S' enfolded by a 'D', is intended to represent the initials of the two former councils and the River Foyle, which links the two places.

But the £30,000 design is proving problematic because it has the name of the new council written in English, Irish and Ulster-Scots, and it is hard to include it on council-branded merchandise including pens and other items.

DUP councillor Drew Thompson sharply criticised the logo's design and said that the council had passed up a golden opportunity to save a good deal of money and promote local schools.

He added: "I think that it is a terrible design and, worse, a waste of money.

"If you had seen what was first presented to us for consideration... I said back then that we should have asked our schools to design a logo. I would say that they would have come up with something better.

"If we had awarded a prize of £5,000 - which any school would be delighted to get - we could have saved the ratepayers £25,000 and we would have had something we could have been proud of at the same time.

"The unique design of the city's coat of arms was a real talking point with tourists, and even the Strabane emblem with the fisherman told something of the history of the place. But this is bland beyond belief."

But the leader of the SDLP group in Derry, Gerard Diver, defended the logo and said he hoped that people would come to like it in time.

Mr Diver added: "I think it is a very clever design. It is clean and simple and represents the new body well. Some people are talking about the loss of the symbols we had, but they are not lost - the city's coat of arms still exists and can be seen in the Guildhall.

"But this is not about the council - a body that did not exist before April this year."

Councillors from Strabane were also more impressed with the design. Sinn Fein's Brian McMahon said: "I am content with it. The first batch we were presented with didn't really work.

"For what we had to go on and what we saw, it was the best one. You can see the S and the D representing the two areas. It is simple, but sometimes simple is best." The simplicity of the design also appealed to Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey, who said: "During the protracted process to come up with a new logo, various concepts were presented to us which were not within the original concept.

"While this one is perhaps modernistic, it does bring together the City of Londonderry and Strabane in such as way as to be symbolic of the River Foyle linking both places. The design is simple, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing."

The adoption of the logo as the official brand of the new council will be finalised at the next full council meeting.

7 things local town halls have spent your money on


Spent by Ards and North Down Council on consultants for rebranding. Voted to call itself East Council in the short-term before returning to being called Ards and North Down. It also forked out £16,000 for a new coat of arms. It is furthermore considering commissioning a new mayoral chain, despite having two from the former councils to choose from.


Down District Council set aside £30,000 on a series of farewell events before being subsumed into Newry, Mourne and Down Council. Newtownabbey Council set aside up to £10,000 for a staff legacy event, and Fermanagh Council allocated £6,000 for a chairman’s reception.


Mid and East Antrim Council inherited more than £180,000 of gold and silver treasures from the former Carrickfergus, Larne and Ballymena councils, yet voted to commission a new chain of office for its first citizen.


Mid and East Antrim, Mid Ulster, and Antrim and Newtownabbey councils spent thousands of pounds on fact-finding trips to Britain that involved attending planning committee meetings.


Newry and Mourne and Down councils spent £30,000 researching their new identity, only to agree on the name Newry, Mourne and Down Council.


Derry City Council's outgoing chief executive, Sharon O’Connor received a £275,000 golden handshake on departing the post she had held for just three years. Thousands signed online petitions objecting to the payout.


Almost £2m in golden goodbyes was set aside for departing councillors prior to the switchover to super councils. Former councillors shared a total jackpot of £1.8m. The largest payout -£35,000 - was handed over to five long-serving councillors.

Logo submissions will be published online. Email

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