July 27, 2023
• The Select Board is investigating updating Needham’s image by reimagining the town seal and possibly creating a new logo.
Story by Yuxiao Yuan
During the Select Board meeting on Tuesday, July 25th, Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick proposed the formation of the Needham Branding and Town Seal Committee to spearhead an effort to analyze the composition and use of the Needham Town Seal. Currently, Needham’s Town Seal is being used as a logo. The Select Board believes it is inappropriate to use the seal in that capacity and wants to develop a distinct image for branding purposes. In her report to the Board, Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick restated the reason behind their goal. “The seal should be reserved for the absolute most formal occasions, and that there may be this concept of creating a brand or a logo that could be used on things like architectural details in the hallway, vehicles, t-shirts, those kinds of things.”
At the same time, the seal itself requires modifications to ensure both quality and historical accuracy. “It’s currently not one quality seal,” Fitzpatrick explained. “In some cases the image is actually incorrect and we’ve tried to weed those out, but it’s out there. So the quality is not good. And then, really, [it’s] the idea of considering whether the seal itself is appropriate in our identity.”
Kate Fitzpatrick has put forward the draft proposal for a nine member committee, which would include representatives from the Historical Commission, Needham History Center and Museum, the Human Rights Committee and the Massachusetts Natick Praying Indians. Apart from designing a recommended logo and reviewing the existing town seal for appropriate changes, the committee will also devise guidelines and a timeline for transitioning non-mandatory uses of the Town Seal to the new Town Logo.
“And we’ve started an inventory of everywhere the seal is being used currently, which is quite a long list. And so, we’ve started that so that we have a sense of really the short, medium and the long. The fact sheet that you have in front of us would be a five-minute change. The architectural details in the hallway behind me would be a longer term.”
The board will vote on the committee’s charge at its upcoming meeting in August.