WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Ever put in hard hours on a creative project and finished it to the satisfaction of everyone involved, only to have the whole thing derailed by bizarre complaints that make little sense yet are somehow taken seriously?
That must be how the creator of a new logo promoting the New Zealand region of Kāpiti must be feeling after a public unveiling sparked a controversy based on the design’s supposedly lewd overtones.
A stylized letter “k” above the word Kapiti, the design is meant to represent the region’s mountains and sea.
Kāpiti takes its name from a large offshore island, which is a native bird sanctuary and tourist destination. The top arched stroke of the K, is meant to represent Kāpiti Island.
Instead of cheers, the logo drew several jeers from members of the Kapiti Coast District Council last week.
Created by local firm Eden Design, the imaginative rendering of the letter appears to have confused some members of the community it’s intended to promote.
“I showed it to a Scots person who said ‘it looks like the Loch Ness monster on legs,’” complained council member Ross Church, as reported by The Age.
Another official was even more flummoxed.
“I have had feedback from the public that this ‘k’ image, with its bent leg, at the knee, is more than mildly pornographic,” said Otaki Community Board member Jackie Elliott, also reported by The Age. “Perhaps the caption underneath could be, ‘Come to Kapiti and let the earth move for you.”
Others objected to the omission of the word “coast” from the design.
About 50 kilometers north of Wellington, Kāpiti is a picturesque coastal region with pleasant forests, dramatic hillsides and gorgeous ocean vistas.
The council voted to delay a decision on approving the logo until a new version employing the word “coast” can be reviewed.
‘Haven’t people got better things to do?’
Local officials seemed mildly embarrassed by the unexpected attention and eager to downplay the controversy.
“It’s really a storm in a teapot as far as we’re concerned,” a local official who asked not to be named said. “We’ve turned it upside-down and sideways and every which way and none of us here for the life of us could find anything wrong.”
“I think the logo honors Kāpiti’s most iconic feature and, as to whether it is lewd in any way, I certainly can’t see it,” said Kāpiti Coast District Councilor Tony Lester. “To be honest, I’d be pretty worried about anyone who can.
“As for a legless Loch Ness monster, if you look at an abstract logo long enough you’ll see all manner of things. Haven’t people got better things to do?”