City seeks comment on taglines, new logos

The Leonhardt:Fitch design group presented taglines and logo ideas for the Federal Way City Council to consider Tuesday, but council members said they weren’t comfortable choosing their favorites without first consulting Federal Way residents.

Ron Walker, a resident who attended Tuesday’s council meeting, approved of the council’s decision to wait.

“I think they’re very wise in not making a decision tonight,” he said. “This is the direction for a whole city. They need public input.”

H. David Kaplan, a longtime city activist recently appointed to the city’s Municipal Facility Advisory Facility, agreed.

“As far as the process goes, there has to be some public input, no question about it,” he said.

Council members agreed to take the next two weeks to gather input. They will decide on a tagline and logo at the next regular council meeting May 20.

All of the options offered by the Leonhardt group use location, potential and energy as hooks for the city. The taglines capitalize on the city’s proximity to major freeways, large cities and natural amenities.

The proposed taglines include:

• “Location perfected.”

• “Start here. Go anywhere.”

• “Get there from here.”

• “The city next door.”

• “It’s all within reach.”

Some council members were underwhelmed.

Councilman Eric Faison asked for more tagline suggestions, but brand strategy director Rob Osler said the design firm is reluctant to give the city discarded options because it didn’t want the city to open itself up to ridicule.

For example, the firm came up with “The beauty of location,” but ultimately threw it out.

“The natural amenities are beautiful, but there are parts of 320th (Street) that aren’t beautiful,” Osler said. “More options are not necessarily better options. They’re more options, but they’re not options we feel good about giving you.”

Still, Faison said he had hoped to see more.

“I’m not sure all the options there are the best options, but I’ll evaluate them,” he said.

While the council had a lukewarm reaction to the taglines, most liked the logo ideas, particularly options 1 and 4. (See box.)

Walker, too, said he was more impressed with the logos than the taglines, particularly considering the gravity of a good tagline.

“Taglines sum up the philosophical direction and identity of the city,” he said.

Kaplan expressed concerns with some of the taglines because they seemed to be encouraging people to go elsewhere. He said he likes “City next door” or “It’s all within reach.”

As far as logos, Walker liked the diamond-shaped option because he said it would be easy for children to draw. He said he prefers a logo citizens can interact with, for things like drawing and essay competitions.

Barbara Reid, a community activist formerly on the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee, said she would have preferred a higher level of energy in the options presented, but she liked “City next door” for the neighborhood feeling it implies.

“That’s what I would hang my hat on,” she said.

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

Which do you like?

City officials are seeking public input on the logo and tagline suggestions presented by Leonhardt:Fitch branding strategists.

The options will be on the city’s We site soon and citizens will be able to comment there. The Web address is

Citizens also can call the city manager with comments at 661-4013.

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