CHICAGO (CBS) — Despite the recent controversy over the design of the new city vehicle sticker – which saw the contest winner’s drawing nixed over concerns about what could be seen as gang symbols, and then the runner-up pulling out over unwanted media attention – there won’t be any delay in printing or selling the stickers this year.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the city’s Graphics Department now will be designing the 2012-2013 city vehicle sticker and officials will stick with the theme “Chicago’s Heroes.”
City Clerk Susana Mendoza said she’s not sure whether the design contest will resume next year.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
This year’s winning design, drawn by 15-year-old Herbie Pulgar, was scratched when questions were raised whether it included gang symbols. Pulgar and his mother have vehemently denied any gang symbols were included in his artwork.
Pulgar’s design featured the image of the city skyline and Chicago flag within a large heart, topped by four hands reaching towards symbols representing Chicago police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Critics said the hands appeared to be making gang signs, but Pulgar and his art teacher said they were taken from an art book he used in class.
The runner-up, Caitlin Henehan, had her design picked to replace Pulgar’s, but she later decided she didn’t want her design used either, because the drama over the entire controversy had soured her on the process.
Henehan’s design featured drawings of a Chicago police officer, firefighter and paramedic, all dressed as caped superheroes flying above the city.
The clerk’s office has said Henehan requested her sticker not be used in the face of “unwanted media and public scrutiny and criticism of her artwork that soon followed” after Pulgar’s design was dropped and Henehan’s design was chosen.
Mendoza’s office said stickers will still be printed on time to go on sale this spring, in time for Chicago vehicle owners to display them on their windshields by the summer deadline.