Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Thursday, 26 November 2009

Logo swirl sparks 'sperm' jibes

Ilfracombe logo
Ilfracombe Town Council says it has no plans to change the logo

A new logo for a north Devon resort which some residents have likened to a sperm has been defended by a "laid back" council.

The "idiosyncratic" swirl incorporated in the £5,000 logo for Ilfracombe has been criticised on the town's website.

Critics have said it makes the town a "laughing stock", but the council said it had no plans to change the logo.

Fresh Bread Marketing said the swirl on the logo was meant to resemble a fish or dolphin.

The swirl represents the dot on the "i" of Ilfracombe on the logo "Ilfracombe - curious coastal charm".

'Hint of humour'

The idea behind the rebrand was to give the town a new identity and encourage people to "take another look and be surprised" by the resort.

The rebrand was launched last week at the town's Landmark Theatre - which itself made the headlines in 1998 when it was nicknamed "Madonna's bra" because of its conical towers.

Tessa Martin, from Fresh Bread, said none of the 250 people at the logo launch had mentioned the swirl's resemblance to sperm.

Ilfracombe coast and Landmark Theatre
Some people "see the shape of the coastline"

"People have their own interpretations and see it in different ways, but it was always meant to resemble a fish or the aerial view of the harbour," she said.

"Some people have said it looks like an ice cream, but only one or two people have complained."

Andrea Beacham, from Ilfracombe Town Council, said the council was pleased the rebranding had sparked so much national interest.

"We're quite laid-back about the sperm references," Ms Beacham told BBC News.

"We're not a stuffy town and the logo was always intended to have a hint of humour as well as curiosity.

"Ilfracombe is undergoing a re-birth and regeneration with such new opportunities as the Ilfracombe to Swansea ferry link, so it fits quite well."

Ellen Vernon, economic regeneration officer at North Devon Council, which helped to develop the branding project with £5,000 funding, said: "To many, the 'swirl' represents Fore Street, the Harbour, a fish, an ice-cream and even waves.

"To others it may look like a sperm, which makes it vibrant and life-affirming.

"No matter what, if it makes people feel that Ilfracombe is going places and worth a visit, we have no problem with that."

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