You better BELIEVE

Chicago is the Windy City. New York City is the Big Apple. Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. Reno is the Biggest Little City in the World. These things are agreed upon the world over.

The RN&R has been in the most irritating pissing match with the city of Reno over a proposal to use half of our logo, the R in our RN&R, as its new logo. We’ve made the argument that it’s a poor idea because the R is neither copyrightable nor trademarkable, and the fact that the city has not chosen to defend its rights to Biggest Little City—with many businesses using the “Biggest Little” phrase for going on 80 years—has made it impossible to “own.” (Incidentally, the slogan came from a contest in 1929.)

We feel as though we got at least a reprieve when City Manager Andrew Clinger removed the formation of a subcommittee to figure out how to run the rebranding campaign from the Aug. 26 agenda.

Good move. Like we’ve said, this is generally the smartest council and management we can remember in the last three decades.

So, while we do take pride in being the newspaper that isn’t afraid to mock silly ideas, we’re also the newspaper that hopes to come up with a few good ones, if only to say, “We told you so,” when they’re adopted in a few years.

We believe Reno can learn from the success of other cities.

For example, we can look at other cities that have successfully done the very thing our city is currently trying to do: rebranding to symbolize a new attitude. Philadelphia is one that comes to mind. Picture that red, blue and green LOVE statue—the L and sideways O on top of the VE—by Robert Indiana in John F. Kennedy Plaza, northwest of Philadelphia’s City Hall. It’s a magnet on refrigerators and a poster on walls around the world, and even though it only has four letters, it means Philadelphia.

In June, the city bought the BELIEVE sculpture, that 12-feet-high, 70-feet-wide, 4-feet-thick steel piece by Reno artists Jeff Schomberg and Laura Klimpton. That thing has Reno written all over it. Not only is it by local artists, its colors emulate the desert. Its interior lights recall the glitzy casino lights downtown. The steel represents this town’s strength in overcoming recent economic adversity. The council is intent on representing our city as an arts destination and has already planned to move the sculpture back to City Plaza when the Virginia Street bridge is complete.

What’s a more appropriate sentiment? What statement better illustrates the goals of this council and leadership than BELIEVE? Who would object to wearing a T-shirt with rust-colored letters B-E-L-I-E-V-E emblazoned across the chest? How about drinking from a coffee cup branded with them? Imagine those stylized seven letters made four stories tall across the face of City Hall with the word Reno flush-right below them. It’s a sentiment that’s so positive the idea of associating it with something negative is ludicrous.

Reno owns it. It’s a unique image that the city could defend in a lawsuit or license to put a little money in the general fund.

If the city is committed to promoting a logo that says Reno, this is the one.

About the only thing BELIEVE is lacking is an exclamation point.