A new logo for the communities of Sunland and Tujunga made its debut Sunday.
Voted on by Sunland and Tujunga residents, the winning logo was announced by Tujunga resident Paolina Milana on social media. Of 349 votes cast by residents, 123 voted for a logo designed by local resident Damian Valentine Mayek, Milana said.
The Sunland-Tujunga logo marks the culmination of a branding effort launched last year by the two cities that also sought to solidify the “Gateway to the Angeles National Forest” moniker, which community leaders consider the official slogan of Sunland and Tujunga.
Milana owns the “Gateway to the Angeles National Forest” trademark, paying out of pocket, she said, to guarantee Sunland and Tujunga exclusive rights to the slogan and prevent others from using it.
The goal of the branding initiative, community leaders say, is to bring increased positive visibility to the two communities, which will hopefully attract visitors and business owners to the nearby forest communities.
The logo, Milana said, “has an old-world feel mixed with a hip and funky artistic flair. Its color scheme makes it a great complement to any store front window.”
The logo contains no color, and comes in two schemes of either a solid white or black background. This was done, Milana said, in order to minimize production costs, “given our lack of branding budget.”
In the background, a beaming sun rises over the San Gabriel Mountains. In the foreground, a bridge, symbolizing the Big Tujunga Canyon Road Bridge that takes drivers into nearby Angeles National Forest, rests in front of the mountains. Trees and chaparral, which are plentiful in and considered a symbol of the area, sit at the foot of the logo.
“The slogan really lent itself to what the final design was going to be,” Mayek said. “You had to have an aspect of the national forest in the context of the logo itself.”
A lifelong graphic designer, Mayek designs websites, logos, brochures and business cards, among other works in his portfolio, for local businesses and groups in his spare time. Mayek’s most recent project was designing the logo for the Rattler, a local bar in Sunland.
He designed the S-T logo in two days after seeing a flyer for the contest at a local eatery, spending about eight to 12 hours both days on it.
“I thought I had something to contribute to the community. I thought I could come up with something cool,” he said. “It’s just for the fun of it and the creative competition of it.”
Many of the logos entered shared similar attributes to Mayek’s, including depictions of the local forest, architecture, mountains and waterways.
Rex Pieper, a Lake View Terrace resident and graphic designer, also chose to incorporate the Angeles National Forest into his logo. His logo depicts Sunland and Tujunga as a trailhead to the forest.
Pieper’s logo is one of two runners-up of 17 designs submitted to the contest, Milana said.
“Sunland [and] Tujunga [have] history,” Pieper said. “I wanted to create a mark that felt connected to that history, while also being modern and ultimately leading towards a brighter future.”
The typography for his logo, Pieper added, “further reflects the arts and crafts architectural influence found in the early river-rock buildings and homes of the area.”
As the winning logo is introduced to the community over the next few weeks, it will be used extensively on various promotional media, Milana said, and possibly incorporated into the two towns’ Fourth of July parade.
The logo will also be made into removable bumper stickers that will be given away during the annual Sunland-Tujunga Fourth of July carnival in Sunland Park. The final logo, Milana said, as well as all of the logos that did not make the final cut, will be featured in a special presentation that day during the carnival.
“Damien’s logo will now begin to be introduced for use anywhere and everywhere throughout town, and will be used to further market and promote who we are and what we have to offer,” Milana said.