A city logo is a visual representation that solidifies a distinct city personality, promotes tourism and business, and bolsters a positive perception by its residents. The City of Pasco’s previous logo dates back to the 1960s, and while it represented a large part of the city’s history the City needed a logo that represents what the city has become today. To accomplish this, the City of Pasco contracted with us in 2018 to design the City’s new logo.
In this video series, we share the unique challenges and process involved in creating what is the city’s logo today.
Part One: The Project Challenges
Designing a city logo is not your typical logo design project. In part one our team shares the unique challenges of redesiging the City of Pasco’s new logo.
My name is Torey Azure, I’m the Creative Director for the City of Pasco Logo Design Project. I’m also the CMO of BrandCraft and Wildland.
Hi, my name is Dee, I am a Brand Strategist here at BrandCraft Media in Richland, Washington and I played the role as Communications Lead on the City of Pasco’s Logo Redesign Project.
The biggest difference between this logo design project and others that we’ve done are the sheer number of stakeholders that were involved.
And before we even decided to submit for the project we had to sit together as a team and see if we were prepared for that. Typically, when you are redesigning a logo you have one to two maybe up to 10 stakeholders that have a voice and how that logo looks and when you’re dealing with a city logo, those stakeholders are thousands and thousands of people that live in that city.
So, really when we’re designing for the citizens of Pasco. And we tried to give them as much voices we could. We try to let them know about the open houses, all of our questionnaires were in English and Spanish we had an open book policy anyone could contact us and talk to someone talk to us about it, we also had an open house, come see us here just tell us anything you want about the process.
When you’re dealing with a city logo, you’re really trying to sell a feeling right, how does it feel to live here how does it feel to be here in the city of Pasco which is a lot different than communicating a message for a business which is how we typically think of a logo.
But really it was in this way it’s different in that you have thousands of people that are really our customers and our stakeholders which makes the process that much more difficult. Not a majority but a large portion of the budget is spent managing that communication and spent managing that desire to get feedback back to us from the stakeholders, we dedicated a large amount of budget to it and it was very helpful information when it came to designing the logo.
Part Two: Community Input
Before we started designing, we needed to know what the residents of the City of Pasco wanted in their logo.
[Dee] Our first step was a community engagement piece, which was really important to the city of Pasco community as well. They had no ideas that they gave for the logo. We talked about how they use the logo every day, challenges they’ve had with their current logo, which, by the way, came from the 1960s. We talked a lot about that and then went through our plan for the community engagement piece. We started with an online survey and we got a lot of really great feedback from that. But we knew we needed more than that to really get the essence of Pasco and we knew we needed to talk to people. We decided to come up with an ambassador program, which was probably my favorite part of this whole project. We put out an application where residents of Pasco could apply to be an ambassador of this logo project. The first meeting with our ambassadors was to really get serious about what it means to live in the city of Pasco, how they feel people perceive the city of Pasco, how they feel they should be perceived, and what represents that. For example, a lot of the words that came through the ambassador group and through the survey were words like friendly, family, resilient, and so we asked, what does that look like in a color? What does that look like in a mark? In a symbol? We went through a series of meetings like that, having that dialogue with those ambassadors, those ambassadors would also take the information we talked about in that meeting and then share it with their friends and circles and as many people as they could, and it would send feedback back to us. And from there, once we went through an entire series with the ambassador group and we had an adequate amount of feedback from the online survey, then we actually got to designing.
Part Three: The Logo Design Process
This is where it all comes together. Learn how our team transformed community feedback into logos, and how we narrowed down to the final one.
So for the actual creative process, when it comes to the logo design, we write a creative brief.
Which is a book, basically explaining all the results and findings from the public input survey and the ambassador group.
[Torey] So information that the city gave us, information that we found from interviewing citizens.
And using those words that were used, talking about the colors that were referenced, showing the examples that were used when we explained logos to the ambassador group. For all of our designers to look at. We got all of our team together, went through this packet, and talked about our findings.
We had some definite information that came through that we wanted to get into that design brief so that any designer working on this project would be able to review it and understand what our goals are.
And then we started designing.
One thing we did was we silo’d our designers a bit. So each designer could read the design brief, but we didn’t want them seeing what other people were designing. So we wanted them to completely come up with their own designs, and then later, after the three designers had their concepts, then we brought them together, we looked at these concepts, which were sketches. From that stage, then our designers go back and now we’ve had a creative session where they’ve heard from me as a creative director. They’ve also heard from their other coworkers about maybe some directions to take their sketches. So all of our designers go back to Illustrator and they start translating those sketches into digital versions of those sketches.
When we finally presented font semi-finals with colors to the ambassador group, we had about 20 versions of the City of Pasco logo for them to look at, which is a lot. But our ambassador group did wonderful and took on the challenge. We went, took that feedback, and refined again, and refined again, and kept going until we narrowed it down to about eight solid final logos. We then took those eight to the city committee and said this is what the community input has given us, these are the designs we came up with, and this is how we got there. They then whittled it down to the top three that they felt they could use, and felt fit their need. Then, the council took those designs, they sat with them for a bit. They actually had us change a couple things, switch some fonts, look at some different color variations. And that’s how we got to the City of Pasco’s logo today.