Goessel Selects My Design as New City Logo

On May 23rd, 2023, the city of Goessel, Kansas, posted on Facebook that they were requesting submissions for a new city logo to use for promotional and official materials moving forward.

City of Goessel Logo Contest flyer, posted to Get Goessel facebook page in May of 2023

This announcement may not have attracted much attention or interaction, but my ears perked up at the mention! Because I grew up in the Goessel community and graduated from Goessel High School in 2011, I have a fond place in my heart for the city and community. When I saw a chance for that to connect with my professional skillset (and one of my favorite activities) in logo design, I had to take a shot at it.

My History with Goessel

In 2010 or 2011, while in a High School graphic design class, I was honored to win the city’s design contest for a patch on the police officer’s uniform. That furthered my interest in design and launched me toward a career in graphic design and video production.

My Logo Design Process

This was one of the fastest logo designs I've ever made, and much of that credit goes to my inspiration for the design.

Upon considering the challenge, I immediately thought of the mural posted on the brick wall of Goessel Grocery and Deli along Main Street that has served as an unofficial logo (or at least a visual symbol of the town) for decades. This mural was painted by long-time Goessel Elementary, Middle, and High School art teacher Brian Stucky and his students in 1979, then repainted by students several times since, including 2009, while I was in school. Several of my classmates had a hand in the repainting.

I started my process by sketching rough design ideas, all focused around the concept of incorporating Stucky's design. After settling on a couple designs I felt were worth pursuing, my work became more tangible.

Drone Photos of Goessel

During a short visit to town one sunny afternoon in early June, I captured a photo of the mural with my drone. This gave me a symmetrical, high-resolution image to work from. A collection of my photos from that afternoon can be seen here.

The Goessel Small Town, Big Heart mural painted on the wall of Goessel Deli & Grocery's brick wall, photographed by Jake Smucker, 6/9/23
Brian Stucky's mural pictured on the wall of Goessel Deli & Grocery in Goessel, KS, photographed by Jake Smucker, June 9, 2023
The Goessel mural is shown in front of Main Street and Crossroads Credit Union in Goessel, KS, photographed by Jake Smucker 6/9/23
The Goessel mural is visible to drivers and pedestrians approaching Goessel Deli & Grocery from the East on Main Street, as photographed by Jake Smucker, June 9, 2023
Aerial photo of Goessel, photographed by Jake Smucker June 9, 2023
Wide shot of the city of Goessel, photographed by Jake Smucker, June 9, 2023
Aerial photo of Goessel water tower and Goessel High School, photographed by Jake Smucker June 9, 2023
The Goessel water tower rises over Goessel Middle and High School, as photographed by Jake Smucker, June 9, 2023

Digitizing the Mural Design

The next step in my process was to digitize the logo by tracing the photo and matching its colors.

Finally, I created the wordmark to pair with the visual design. By placing the Goessel logomark on a backing shape, it creates a base for the visual mark. The square bottom edges of the wordmark provide stability and symmetry to the design. The concave curve on the top of the wordmark provides a visual counter to the convex arch in the mural graphic on top.

My last touch was to add an optional tagline, "Small Town, Big Heart" that can be used at the bottom of the logo.

Final Logo Design

My final delivered product includes numerous versions of the design, appropriate for a variety of contexts.

I hope the full-color logo with the tagline is the primary version used to represent the city. It celebrates the city's history, reflects the ideals of the community, and provides a clear, memorable mark for digital and physical locations in the future.

The new Goessel, Kansas logo designed by Jake Smucker and selected as winner via a contest in June, 2023

If a 1-color version is needed, the Black or Blue versions of the logo may be used.

A 1-color dark blue version of the Goessel city logo designed by Jake Smucker in June, 2023

And, finally, the wordmark-only logo may be used on official documentation, locations with limited vertical space, and contexts that require a minimalist approach.

A wordmark-only version of the Goessel city logo designed by Jake Smucker in June, 2023

Credit and Thanks to Brian Stucky

I have to give an immense amount of gratitude and credit for this design to Brian Stucky. His mural design is an enduring symbol of the city, irrespective of this logo. However, I hope the logo can serve to further preserve his legacy on the town. Through the many young artists who came through his classes (including those who painted the mural), a great deal of beautiful artwork exists in this world because of the inspiration of Brian Stucky. Thanks for the art lessons, stories, and many memorable classes, Mr. Stucky!

Thank you also to the city of Goessel for publishing this contest and selecting my design to serve the city moving forward!

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