The Federal Way City Council chose a new city logo Tuesday night.
After an extensive discussion, council members voted, 5-2, in favor of the logo, which was designed by Rusty George Creative, a consultant the city hired last year. The logo features an American flag in the background of Mount Rainier, with “city of Federal Way, Washington” circling the image. Its colors are red, white and blue.
Councilwoman Susan Honda and Councilman Mark Koppang were the dissenting votes.
Honda, who was on the city’s rebranding ad-hoc committee with Councilwoman Dini Duclos and former Councilwoman Kelly Maloney since it began in 2013, said she preferred an updated version of the old logo. Koppang said he didn’t have a strong preference. He had serious concerns about the financial cost of updating the logos in the Parks and Public Works departments, however.
So far, the council has spent $62,859 of the established $100,000 budget. The expenses covered the cost to conduct a community survey, interview key players and research and design two batches of logos over the span of about one year.
Senior Adviser to the Mayor Steve McNey said the firm netted more than 625 respondents.
“Coupled with both the community’s feedback and independent research, Rusty George Creative determined that through rebranding, the city of Federal Way will be able to unify its communities, businesses and civics through one common purpose, movement to the center,” McNey said. “Movement to the center is a rally cry to the citizens of Federal Way, out-of-state businesses and regional businesses, ultimately positioning Federal Way as being “centered on opportunity.”
Both Honda and Koppang questioned why the council didn’t present the logo options to the community prior to a vote.
“We did, though, in the last council meeting and in our retreat, talk about at least putting these in front of the community in the newspaper,” Koppang said before the council voted. “And I still think that’s something that we should do as a council. We’ve made that commitment.”
Because Duclos had already made the motion, which was seconded by Councilman Bob Celski, however, the council had to vote on implementing “option 1” as the city’s new logo. Members could have voted down the measure and made another motion to seek community input prior to a final vote, but opted to move ahead.
“I think it’s time that Federal Way did have a new look and, to me, the old one that’s spruced up doesn’t do it,” Duclos said. “If I see this first one, and I didn’t know this city, and I was driving down and I saw this, it would make me want to stop and see this city. If I saw these other ones, I would go right by it.”
Celski said the council members need to think “big picture” when it comes to the city’s future.
“Our city is growing up, and, unfortunately, so are our neighbors,” he said.
Because the city is in competition with its neighboring municipalities, Celski said Federal Way must set itself apart from the others.
While the mayor wouldn’t initially comment on this council re-branding initiative, he did say this batch of designs Rusty George Creative presented to the council was much stronger than those presented last spring and that there was a consensus on the option including Mount Rainier and the flag.
McNey said the logo is a “nod to the patriotism” within the city and streets of Federal Way.
Following the vote, the council determined the city would work with Rusty George on a marketing strategy going forward, which will likely include a media campaign.
McNey estimates the brand launch of the new logo will begin in the summer.