Vehicles, business cards, letterheads, employee uniforms, billboards, Hays Regional Airport, even city hall, will all be sporting a new logo over the next six months.

A new logo with a simple, lowercase yellow “h” and “city of Hays” beside it, is the new brand design for the City of Hays, rolled out to the media on Tuesday by City Manager Toby Dougherty and the logo’s creator, Hays branding and design consultant Scott Gross, and Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Melissa Dixon.

“Scott was tasked with creating something that could translate to an Interstate 70 sign, to a letterhead, to shirts, to vehicles, and be a consistent brand that fits for everybody,” Dougherty said at a press briefing in city hall where he unveiled the logo.

Gross described the new logo as fresh and a new beginning, that will be recognizable to people coming into town.

“It’s just an uplifting logo, it’s clean, it symbolizes Hays in kind of an abstract way,” Gross said, noting that each department will have its own color “h” for use on their letterheads, business cards and vehicles, but still consistent with the general brand.

The general city of Hays logo is bright yellow, while public works’ is orange, the CVB’s is maroon and the parks’ department is green, for example.

The new general logo is already on the front page of the city’s web site at www.haysusa.com.

Phase 1 of the process was getting the logo designed, and changing it out on all digital and electronic materials, on letterheads and business cards, and on city vehicles.

Phase 2, which is underway as well, is to incorporate the new design into a logo for the city-owned Hays Regional Airport, for way-finding signs around town, and in signs for city-owned Hays Aquatic Park and city hall.

The process will take through the middle of 2020 to wrap up, Dougherty said. Cost for the new logo program is $10,000, he estimated, paid from the city’s general fund.

“If you want to throw a lot of money at it, you could do it very quickly, but to us it was important to create something that was consistent,” Dougherty said. “But we’re not an NFL team that’s introducing a new design of uniforms that we have to do everything over night. We are budget conscious here, we want to get it changed, but we want to do it as economically as possible, so we’ll slowly roll it out as time allows.”

Where possible, things with the old logo are being replaced in the normal course of making changes, such as shirts that fade, letterhead and business card supplies that run out, even some markings on vehicles, to avoid added cost.

“I know departments have been running low on a lot of printed and other type of items in anticipation of this because they didn’t want to print a bunch of stuff that would have to be reprinted,” Dougherty said.

Most of the city vehicles have had their old logo removed now, he said, and will be remarked in coming weeks. Residents will see some color variation, with public works vehicles bearing an orange “h” and parks department trucks with green.

The new logo replaces the one that’s been used for years, a black and white line drawing of the three historic figures who figured into the Wild West days of Hays’s founding, Wild Bill Hickok, Gen. George Armstrong Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody.

That was the main logo used for the city, but there were also others.

“We were dealing with a lot of variations internally,” Dougherty said. “So on the vehicles you had the three amigos, we had some vehicles that had the rainbow three amigos that had the colors on it; Melissa had a brand, water resources developed their own logo, and then we had our water conservation logo, and we just kept adding to the bucket and there was no consistency whatsoever.”

Gross, who is vice president of marketing and communications for the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce and also a freelance workshop leader for FHSU’s Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, also noticed the inconsistency, he said.

“I thought it would be a good idea to get everyone on the same page and have one general identity for the city of Hays,” Gross said. “So I brought it to Toby and Melissa and we worked together as a team and came up with one look. The ‘three amigos’ as we called it, worked well, but this is a fresh and uplifting symbol for Hays. I hope everyone likes it.”