MEA logo is branded ‘boring, nondescript’

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Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s newly unveiled corporate logo has met with a frosty reception from critics on social media.

A landmark moment in the history of the new super council was reached at the latest monthly meeting in the Braid, Ballymena, as the local authority agreed its new branding.

According to an MEA spokesperson, members had sought to move away from the traditional image associated with councils in Northern Ireland, and had selected a “modern and forward-looking” logo, which incorporated “elements of the history for which Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne are renowned”.

Cllr Billy Ashe, Presiding Chair of Council, added: “There was a real buzz in the council chamber at the Braid as the final branding was agreed, and I am personally delighted that we have a brand which really reflects the vision of the new council.

“The new logo illustrates Mid and East Antrim as collaborative, connected and progressive – while at the same time its design can be interpreted to show weaving, waves, battlements and towers, all integral to the rich history of the area.”

The Times asked social media users for their views on the new branding, and the response was overwhelmingly negative.

Facebook user Bee Ashbridge posted: “Is that it? Some lines? Suitably unimpressed with the logo. Maybe I’m just not clever enough to get the interpretation. I can’t see heritage, tourism, community, commerce, or sport...or any of the other things councils represent.

“I’ve been involved in branding and rebranding for young and old companies in the past, so I understand how and why logos are put together. It’s sad that it’s a logo and not a coat of arms steeped in local history to represent our new council.”

Neill Murray added: “It’s a bit boring and nondescript and doesn’t scream Ballymena, Carrickfergus or Larne to me. Being involved with an organisations rebranding I understand why they didn’t go for a crest, but the logo could have been a lot more interesting. Why weren’t the people asked their opinion before it was approved?”

And Gary Peoples wrote: “Very poor, should run a wee drawing competition through schools in the areas and pick a winner.”

However, Mid and East Antrim DUP Councillor Gordon Lyons defended the branding, posting: “I didn’t like it when I first saw it, but it does grow on you.”

From now until the new super council officially takes over on April 1, staff across the existing Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne Borough Councils will be working behind the scenes to coordinate the roll-out of the new identity, which will be carried out in a phased approach over the coming weeks and months.