City image plan moves ahead

The Federal Way City Council has adopted location as the key point for the city’s branding strategy, but council members said they are looking forward to more exciting suggestions from Seattle design firm Leonhardt:Fitch.

At a council meeting Tuesday, Councilman Michael Hellickson suggested dropping the Leonhardt group’s services altogether, saying the city should save the rest of the money and put it to better use.

“The goal has been to create an image for Federal Way,” he said. “What we’ve done is made ourselves a laughingstock in south King County.”

The city dedicated almost $90,000 in Lodging Tax Advisory Committee funds to pay for the study and implementation of a brand for the city.

Other council members said that while location might not be the most exciting option, it is versatile, attractive and true.

“That it’s not something erudite and strange and didn’t cost a bundle, I think is wonderful,” said Councilwoman Mary Gates.

So far, the branding process has lacked the luster they had hoped to apply to the city’s image, council members said. Still, the majority agreed to continue with the next phase of the strategy, during which Leonhardt:Fitch will develop a logo and tagline for the city.

Deputy Mayor Dean McColgan said he hasn’t seen anything “that would knock me over,” but is concerned with calling it quits before there’s any implementation of the plan.

“I’m hoping we see a little more meat as we move forward,” he said.

Gates agreed. “This is the stage where I want to see them knock our socks off,” she said.

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-5565 and

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