Problem? New city of Everett logo is similar to another

EVERETT — Everett’s new logo is barely a week old and it’s already got a problem.

The design, selected in a contest that drew more than 850 entries, is very similar to the corporate logo of a Chicago wealth management firm, Envestnet.

City communications director Meghan Pembroke released a statement that said, in part, “All designers who participated in the contest signed an artist agreement confirming that their submissions were original and did not infringe on any other person’s copyright or service marks.”

The city is looking into the issue, the statement said.

Pembroke said that the city has reached out to the artist but has not heard back from him yet. But she conceded that the contest-winning design is too close to Envestnet’s, regardless whether the similarity was intentional.

“We’ve reached out to the artist, so we’ll need to talk to him, but I would imagine we would not be using that,” Pembroke said.

Reached by phone, Sean Hamilton, the Seattle artist who designed the winning logo, said he had no comment for now.

Hamilton, a freelance designer who works under the name Varsity Crime Wave, has had numerous corporate clients over the years, but he said Envestnet has not been one of them.

“No, never,” Hamilton said.

The logo contest drew entries from around the world, but most of the submissions were from local artists and designers. Public voting whittled the long list of entries down to about 65 finalists, from which a panel of judges chose the winner.

The winner of the contest was to receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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