Public wants better city slogan

Some Federal Way citizens have told the City Council they would rather keep the city’s current logo and skip a tagline than adopt the suggestions offered by Leonhardt:Fitch designers.

Last week, the council reviewed responses from an on-line survey on the 10 proposed new logos and taglines. Of the 430 votes, 60 percent preferred the mountain logo and 51 percent preferred the slogan “Federal Way: It’s all within reach.”

But in additional comments submitted to the council, several people said they didn’t like any of the options.

The tagline options were weak, they said, and seemed to either diminish Federal Way’s city status (“The city next door”) or to encourage people to go somewhere else (“Start here. Go anywhere” and “Get there from here.”).

Pam Glaser e-mailed the city to discourage staff from adopting any of the options.

“As one who lives, plays, dines, shops and works in Federal Way, I’d be embarrassed if we adopted any of these,” she wrote. “No tagline at all is better than these.”

Glaser had her own suggested tagline: “Live. Work. Play. All in Federal Way.”

Federal Way Chamber of Commerce president Delores Shull echoed Glaser’s sentiments.

“I’m disappointed with all the taglines. I think they are weak at best,” she said. She offered “Federal Way: The world starts here” as a better option for branding the city.

A caller to the Mirror, Paul Tracy, also offered an alternative to the proposed slogans. “I might support ‘Federal Way is where it’s at,’” he said.

Tracy said that if he had to choose one of the slogans proposed by Leonhardt:Fitch, “I’d pick ‘Location perfected.’ But I really don’t like it or any of the other ones.” He also doesn’t like the suggested new logos. “What’s wrong with the old one?” he asked.

Linda Purlee told the council that her suggestion, “Federal Way: A place to play,” would allow the city to capitalize on the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center, the Knutzen Family Theater, the soccer fields, the skating rink, Celebration Park, the bonsai gardens, the waterfront and Dash Point State Park.

“I urge the city not to go with any of the suggestions put forth by the hired company,” she said. “Start over.”

The city hired Leonhardt:Fitch last November to create an image Federal Way could use to encourage people and businesses to locate here. The city is paying about $90,000 —$50,000 from lodging tax funds — for the branding project.

Leonhardt:Fitch began researching Federal Way’s attributes and drawbacks in December. On Feb. 19, design strategists offered several positioning concepts that focused on the city’s best qualities and potentials as identified during the research process, including location, amateur sports, the capital of south King County and its status as a relatively new city.

The group then launched a telephone and Internet survey to gather public input. Location emerged as the one most favored by respondents.

City Council members authorized Leonhardt:Fitch to continue with the project, but some began expressing concern that Federal Way’s identity was becoming somewhat lackluster.

When Leonhardt:Fitch submitted its logo and tagline ideas, several council members said they were disappointed and had hoped for something stronger.

At their May 21 meeting, council members expressed a preference for the mountain logo, but asked Leonhardt:Fitch designers to bring back versions reflecting different color and lettering choices and adding “City of” to “Federal Way.”

As far as taglines, council members asked the Leonhardt group to start with “It’s all within reach” and “Start here. Go anywhere” and add citizen suggestions to make a more dynamic description for the city.

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-55565 and

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