PennDOT stays in-house with new keystone logo

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has changed its logo for the second time in seven years.

This time, the design was done in-house rather than paying $110,000 to a marketing consultant as the department did the last time. Also, the logo will be phased in on everything from stationery to hard hats and dump trucks rather than buying four new T-shirts for every highway worker and 10,800 equipment decals as it did in 2001.

"This is part of a commonwealth-wide branding effort featuring the state's keystone element," PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick said. "All state agencies are incorporating the keystone as a standard, integral part of their logos," a reflection of Pennsylvania's nickname as the Keystone State.

The new logos have been introduced at two other state agencies thus far: Department of Banking and Department of General Services.

PennDOT's new logo includes the elements drawn up the last time: blue and green "swoops" and a large blue dot. They, too, are contained inside the symbolic keystone.

"Under this effort to transition to the new logo, no item [such as a truck, for example] is to be retrofitted," Mr. Kirkpatrick said. "We want to keep this as low cost as possible or no cost."

PennDOT was strongly criticized in January 2004 by then Auditor General Robert P. Casey Jr. for money spent on the new logo and other programs, including embroidered clothing and catered meals for an employee recognition program, rubber-ducky toys for a safety program and other excesses such as ceremonial ribbon-cutting scissors costing $500 each.

PennDOT quickly discontinued all such spending when Ed Rendell became governor and named Allen Biehler, of Crafton Heights, as his transportation secretary.

In 1970, the Department of Highways became the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The original logo was a triangular design superimposed on a keystone and reflected land, air and sea modes of travel.


Joe Grata can be reached at jgrata@post-gazette.com .


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