A new logo that appeared on the Government of Saskatchewan website and some press releases last week has caused a major stir.
The symbol features the shape of the province in green with a gold, highly-stylized wheat sheaf slashing through it.
The opposition NDP immediately condemned the move as a "shameless example of self-promotion."
"It's promoting themselves with their own colours," said Buckley Belanger, NDP deputy leader. "It's full of partisanship. All this manipulation all this spin and all this PR, it's all meant to try and fool the people of Saskatchewan."
Local Sask Party MLA Greg Ottenbreit dismisses that accusation.
"If it's a hidden agenda, it's not very well hidden," he said. "We've been using it for a number of years."
Up until now, the symbol has only been used in external marketing campaigns and was designed to represent the new, dynamic Saskatchewan, Ottenbreit explained.
The Yorkton member also isn't worried by the contention that it uses Sask Party colours saying the colours are the official provincial colours.
"It's kind of petty politics," Ottenbreit said.
The NDP has also criticized the government over the cost. Belanger doesn't "buy" that the price tag was only $7,390 as the Sask Party claims. Ottenbreit also defended that saying they are not changing fixed signs and government departments are under instructions to use up all existing letterhead, business cards and other materials before ordering new.
"Nothing is going to waste," he said.
The public has greeted the change with mixed emotions. Many people seem to like its fresh style, while many others lament the loss of the iconic wheat sheaf. Donna Crooks, executive director of communications services for executive council says from a marketing standpoint it represents the fact that Saskatchewan is no longer a strictly agricultural province.
Marketing experts caution that rebranding can be a tricky business, however. Elizabeth Gast, a freelance graphic designer and blogger cites the public relations disaster when The Gap changed its logo in 2010. The company quickly went back to its original logo after being bombarded with criticism for a few weeks.
"It's been my experience in the past, that if you are going to give your logo an overhaul, then keeping key elements of the old logo, while simplifying the look is your best way to go," Gast wrote.
"I really believe that this is a large reason as to why the new Gap logo didn't work as planned. People can get attached to images. Stray too far from the original design, and you may end up with a riot on your hands."