DUNEDIN — After fielding complaints that their first choice was drab and confusing, members of a citizen branding committee are "strongly" recommending that the City Commission consider a more colorful city logo that they say better represents Dunedin.
The new proposed logo features the word "Dunedin" in thin, black capital letters with the "E" emphasized with blue, orange and green swoops. The logo would retain its blue "Home of Honeymoon Island" motto. Under that, in black italic, is a new, secondary tagline, "Life Flows Your Way."
Dunedin's Branding Selection Committee called the design livelier and more versatile.
It's also easier to understand, members say, than the logo presented last month featuring a blue-and-green striped, side-turned osprey forming the shape of a heart. The colors were intended to represent the Pinellas Trail and Dunedin's waterfront location, the osprey was an ode to the city's favorite bird, and the heart shape was a reference to Honeymoon Island.
Based on the occasion, the colors in the new proposed logo's "E" could be changed to complement community events like Mardi Gras and the Scottish-influenced Highland Games.
The logo still markets Honeymoon Island, which creators from Wilesmith Advertising and Design call Dunedin's greatest asset for attracting visitors. The stylized "E" clues in outsiders on how to pronounce the city's name.
The option will be presented to the City Commission during its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
"It's the committee's choice and I think it'll end up being the people's choice," Ken Hannon, a branding group member and associate executive director of the Dunedin Fine Art Center, said Tuesday. "It just has such a great, great feel about who we are in Dunedin."
City leaders last year embarked on the $73,150 branding campaign to increase visitor and business traffic, which they hope also translates into more employment opportunities, a higher tax base and more revenue.
Once approved, businesses and the government will be able to incorporate the branding theme into items such as T-shirts, websites, city equipment, visitor guides and letterhead.
After last month's unveiling, city officials received roughly 50 emails and about 240 comments via Dunedin's Facebook page — the majority of them negative.
While some people called the colors serene and the focus on Honeymoon Island a smart move, many others thought the logo was too difficult to interpret.
Rather than energetic and quirky, they saw the colors and fonts as drab or "corporate looking" and the heart theme as more suitable for a wedding announcement. Several people criticized the tagline, "We'll steal your heart," as too cliched and worried that it carried a negative connotation.
However, one of the most frequent complaints was that the logo didn't reflect Dunedin's numerous other assets, namely its Scottish heritage.
Postpresentation meetings with members of seven citizen committees and stakeholder groups generated similar feedback.
Hannon acknowledged that committee members considered the negative public feedback. However, he said the committee's about-face was ultimately the result of members' continued work on the branding campaign following last month's presentation.
The image and tagline his group is now backing is one of 15 that members whittled to a list of four for potential presentation to the City Commission last month.
"We really, after having had some time to digest all of what was presented, were sure that this (second logo was the best) direction," Hannon said. "It was absolutely unanimous."
Keyonna Summers can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153.