Social district logo designates Downtown Farmington ‘Syndicate’

An image described as both vintage and a little edgy will represent Downtown Farmington’s new social district.

City council members are just a step away from establishing The Syndicate, where patrons can drink alcoholic beverages outside of downtown bars and restaurants. Enabled under a new Michigan law, social districts are designed to help businesses with social distancing required by COVID-19 restrictions.

Maria Taylor Johnna Balk David Delind for Farmington city council

Downtown Farmington Social District

Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board member Chris Halas said the Promotions Committee considered several factors as they worked on the design.

“We had given a lot of thought to the fact that there’s a number of stakeholders kind of coming together to give us a right to enjoy ourselves in a way we never really have before,” he said. “We were also inspired by the recent discovery at the GLP building of a speakeasy in the basement.”

GLP Financial Services, new owner of the historic Farmington State Savings Bank building at Grand River and Farmington Road, discovered remnants of the Prohibition-era club while knocking down a wall in the basement.

Halas, who works in the graphic design field, said one of his co-workers came up with the logo. Some of the design cues, he said, were “serendipitous” with art created for the annual Harvest Moon celebration, which was canceled this year.

“Whenever you see this logo, you’ll know that you’re safely enjoying an adult beverage out in public in designated areas,” he said. “I think, at a glance, it’s really strong. People can see it, know where they are, know what to do. And I think most importantly, it looks like us.”

City council member Steven Schneemann said the DDA’s Design Committee felt “the vintage look works well with Farmington, but also had a little bit of an edge.”

State law requires all cups used within the social district to include both the serving business logo and the district logo. Also, Halas said, the logo will be featured in the DDA’s social media and other advertising channels.


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