Who created the town logo?
Highway-department trucks have it. The town stationery has it. Transfer-station permits have it. Even the carpet in Town Hall displays the whimsical seal that represents Ridgefield. Prior to 1972, however, this ever-present logo didn’t exist. It was First Selectman Joseph J. McLinden who decided it was time to unify the letterhead of all boards and commissions by adopting one identifying logo. McLinden, a one-term Republican, invited residents to participate in a contest to create a design.
Thirteen people, including the Ridgefield High School principal, submitted their ideas. The winning design was announced in February 1972. The image of the large protective oak shading a village with stone walls and the founding year 1708 was sketched by Robert Malin, who lived in Ridgefield between 1964 and 1988.
Malin was a technical illustrator with Perkin Elmer. “I just started putting together things I thought were appropriate for the area,” says Malin, now a Brookfield resident. “I love trees. Stone walls—you see those all around. And, of course the year—1708,” when Chief Catoonah of the Ramapoo Indians signed deed the land to the town settlers. Malin’s design also includes Settlers’ Rock, the landmark where the original settlers reportedly spent their first night in May 1708.
The winning insignia was officially approved by the State of Connecticut on May 17, 1972.
As for Bob Malin, he still gets a “real kick out of it” whenever he gets to tell people he designed Ridgefield’s official town seal.