BARTOW - The oak tree inside a circle will soon be relegated to the dust bin of history.

Bartow has been using a logo with that theme for more than 20 years.

But before long, city vehicles will sport a new logo, and City Hall's stationery won't be far behind.

The City Commission has adopted a new logo emblazoned with the dome on Bartow's historic courthouse, hoping to capitalize on the community's history.

The move is part of a marketing plan that brings several agencies together in a unified promotional effort, said Mayor Brian Hinton.

"The idea is to bring uniformity to the effort," said Hinton, who also serves on the marketing committee. "We're taking all the pieces and bringing them together to create a community theme. That's important from a marketing standpoint."

The black-and-white logo reflects the courthouse dome inside an oval frame with a ribbon draped along the bottom bearing the city's name.

"City of oaks and azaleas" encircles the oval, with the city's founding date, 1851, at the bottom. That slogan gave rise to the old logo, which has now fallen victim to a more modern marketing approach for the city.

While the new logo is black and white, some on signs will rest on a field of deep blue, like those on the gateways to the city.

The initial concept for the logo came from a marketing study commissioned by the Bartow Community Redevelopment Agency. That group adopted the design a couple of years ago, but substituted the agency's name for the city's nickname.

When directional signs appeared as part of the downtown streetscaping project last year, they bore the new emblem. The same medallion welcomes visitors to the city's downtown district.

Jeff Clark, executive director of the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce, said the community's marketing strategy grew from there.

"It was all a matter of good timing," he said. "The signs and medallion design started going up right about the time we were developing our marketing plan. We were looking at trying to adopt a new logo, and when we saw the medallions going up downtown, it was like it was meant to be."

Clark said he started to incorporate the logo into other elements that the partnership was working with, such as the gateways.

"It just made sense to us that the city look at it, too," he said. "It's all part of branding our city."

City Manager Joe DeLegge said the partnership agreed to include the logo on the gateway entrances to the city, and it seemed only logical to replace the city's existing logo with the new design.

"We want to be consistent," he said. "The theme is based around the logo, so it only seemed natural for the city to adopt it, too."

Suzie Schottelkotte can be reached at suzie.schottelkotte@directgates.com or 863-533-9070.