It took 15 months of research and cost a whopping £430,000 — but Belfast’s new heart-shaped logo was created in just a few weeks after the former Lord Mayor rejected the original version.
Sunday Life can reveal that council bosses had planned to launch a different logo from the heart-shaped ‘B’.
But they were left red-faced during a dinner at the Hilton Hotel in March when the then Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers refused to endorse it.
Around 60 stakeholders enjoyed a sumptuous three-course dinner to discuss the new branding, but were stunned when Councillor Rodgers refused to give his approval.
A council insider revealed: “The chief executive of the council, Peter McNaney, and Gerry Lennon of the Belfast Visitors and Convention Centre wanted the former Lord Mayor to sign off on the logo, but he categorically refused. They were gobsmacked.
“Instead of giving his seal of approval, Councillor Rodgers stood up and said he’d listened to the views of people from the working groups and it was clear they weren’t happy. He said more work needed to be done.
“It was very embarrassing. News of what had happened spread like wildfire around the council.”
When contacted, Councillor Rodgers confirmed he had refused to sign off the previous logo at the Hilton event. Sunday Life can also reveal that the dinner was just one in a string of events funded by Belfast ratepayers.
A total of 15 meetings were held in Belfast while a member of staff from Belfast City Council and one from Belfast Visitor’s and Convention Centre attended one in London.
As well as the dinner at the Belfast Hilton, stakeholders were treated to a reception at Belfast City Hall, dinner at Ten Square and an event on the Nomadic.
Just one month after the former Lord Mayor’s refusal to approve the original logo, brand consultancy Lloyd Northover presented the heart-shaped ‘B’ logo.
The former Lord Mayor gave that design the green light at a breakfast meeting at Roscoff’s in April and the new logo was officially launched at the Waterfront Hall in June.
Last month Sunday Life revealed that the new logo is very similar to others already in use in England.
Food and Drink Devon paid just £7,000 for its logo four years ago, while both Blackburn and Barrow launched similar logos in spring.
Belfast spent £180,000 on the creation of its logo and £250,000 on advertising, launch events and showcase promotions.