With in-house design of Chicago city sticker, clerk tries to avoid more controversy

April 17, 2012

(WBEZ/Dulce M. Mora)
Final design of Chicago's 2012-13 city sticker.

After a design submitted by a high school student was scrapped for having symbols perceived to be gang-related, the office of Chicago’s City Clerk came up with its own design for this year’s vehicle sticker.

City Clerk Susana Mendoza said in coming up with the final design she wanted something that was simple and dignified.

Mendoza said, "I think it's a city sticker that we can all be proud to have on our vehicle."

The city sticker takes its cue from Chicago's flag with two light blue bands and the red stars replaced by logos representing the police and fire department as well as paramedics.

Mendoza said there’s no final decision on whether the youth design contest will take place next year.

She said she made good on her promise to pay for a $1,000 savings bond to give to the original winner of the contest. That’s the prize he would have received from the city had the design been used.

Mendoza tried to steer away from the controversy over the design.

"It's unfortunate but at the end of the day, I don't want to focus on that," she said. "We have moved past that. That's old news."

She focused instead on a feature found on the flip side of the city sticker. A new QR-code will allow smart phone users to access a webpage where they can find out about street closures and report potholes.

Mendoza ‘s office is also pushing for more people to purchase stickers online with a redesign of the website. She also mentioned a new will call option for users that prefer not to have their sticker mailed.

These options don’t carry a fee beyond the cost of the sticker.

Online sales are set to begin April 23 with in person sales starting May 1.