Houston’s New High-Water Mark

HOUSTON’S NEW HIGH-WATER MARK It took a journey to the moon for Houston to become Space City, an NBA championship for it to become Clutch City, thousands of years of storm drainage for it to become the Bayou City, its emergence as a lower-cost alternative to New York, LA, and Chicago to become Discount City, an American League pennant run for it to become Crush City, a clever marketing campaign that plays on the city’s famous sprawl and lack of zoning laws for it to become The City with No Limits, and a Hollywood movie for Houston to become the preferred invocation preceding any declaration that “We’ve Got a Problem.” Now, amid the fluid aftermath of Harvey and the resulting flood of worldwide media coverage for the city’s latest historic high-water event, is Houston set to become known as . . . That City That Floods?This ‘Houston Hang In There’ logo designed by Chad Ehlinger has become the go-to symbol uniting the city of Houston during this trying time,” reads a note posted last week to the Facebook page of Cactus Music, promoting the sale of T-shirts emblazoned with the mark, with proceeds promised to JJ Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund. (Hats with a similar charitable promise are available now too.) Like all great logos, Ehlinger’s badge of hope accommodates alternate readings: Is that a hand raising high the city’s initial in a defiant gesture of pride? Or someone hanging on for dear life as the floodwaters rise? If so, do we imagine the next step: a one-handed pull-up, lifting ourselves out of our predicament and into a drier future? What would it take for a new civic identity to emerge from the floodwaters — one that incorporates a more honest recognition of the city’s fundamental ongoing battle with drainage? A message of perseverance provides great cover. [Cactus Music] Logo: Chad Ehlingerm  

8 Comment

  • It’s becoming the “go to symbol” ? This is the first I’ve seen it. Maybe I need to get out more.

  • The raindrops look like a baby seal. Not really on brand.

  • Sylvester Turner needs to go to prison for criminally giving away our drainage funds to campaign donors.

  • I was thinking that this reminded me of some communist symbol I saw somewhere once, in my hazy fog of a memory. So I throw it to Google and return this from Wikipedia:

    “The raised fist, or the clenched fist, is a symbol of solidarity and support. It is also used as a salute to express unity, strength, defiance, or resistance….Combined with another graphic element, a raised fist is used to convey polysemous gestures and opposing forces. Depending on the elements combined, the meaning of the gesture changes in tone and intention. For example, a hammer and sickle combined with a raised fist is part of communist symbolism, while the same fist combined with a Venus symbol represents Feminism, and combined with a book, it represents librarians.”


  • @Superdave
    It’s clearly not a raised fist. That hand is wrapped around the H holding on to dear life. The orange in between and under the fingers makes that obvious.

  • Hang On For Dear Life isn’t a good message, in my mind!
    At best, this is like ‘Have a Nice Day’ – a nicety, but don’t expect me to get involved in any way!

  • I really like the graphic available at Booster.com – Fundraising With CustomInk:
    STAND BAYOU CITY in little blue street-name tiles

  • While so many American businesses were generous during Harvey, one business, Gensler, the worlds largest architectural firm ($1.4 billion), asked the public for $75,000 to benefit ONLY their employees though a GoFundMe campaign. Corporate Pandhandling during a disaster? Inappropriate and shameful. These were not charitable contributions, they were, according to the IRS “gifts.” Gensler needs gifts from the public to support their employees? Why?

    Business believes in People-helping-Texans. Gensler believes in People-helping-Gensler.