DUNEDIN — It was a painstaking process, but city commissioners finalized design plans Thursday for a new logo, slogan, stationery and marketing materials crafted as part of a $73,150 branding campaign.
Commissioners decided to stick with the image they approved in April: "DUNEDIN" spelled in blue, orange, red and green capital letters with the "E" formed by three wavy blue lines. Under that is the phrase "Home of Honeymoon Island."
Wilesmith Advertising/Design, the firm that designed the image, said the multiple colors represent the city's fun and diverse nature, and the "E" represents flowing water and helps outsiders pronounce the city's name.
Commissioners this spring had asked Wilesmith to come up with a catchier, less confusing secondary slogan than "Life flows your way."
However, the panel voted 4-0 Thursday — Mayor Dave Eggers was out sick — to go with a recommendation that the city forego a secondary tagline altogether.
"Our staff recommendation and that of Wilesmith is for no tagline, since it is not seen as necessary, and because additional words will detract from the logo/brand 'Dunedin, Home of Honeymoon Island,' " City Manager Rob DiSpirito wrote in a memo distributed to commissioners ahead of their Thursday meeting.
The commissioners' decision comes a year after the city embarked on the project to create a unique brand that's intended to boost Dunedin's appeal and visibility among local, national and international tourists and businesses.
At the commission's request, DiSpirito said, Wilesmith provided two secondary tagline options for consideration Thursday night: "Even when it's hot, it's cool" and "Breeze in. Chill out."
Commissioner Julie Scales said a poll conducted in the branding campaign's early stages seemed to indicate the proposed taglines wouldn't reflect residents' thoughts about the unique assets that drew them here.
"The colors of the letters in Dunedin and that wavy E, I think, in itself conveys that we're unique in some way. And then 'Home of Honeymoon Island' is stating what our single largest asset is," Scales said. "I think we should keep it simple and straightforward and uncluttered."
The meeting was not entirely without controversy.
Commissioners Julie Ward Bujalski and David Carson and branding committee member Wendy Barmore said they were disappointed that the committee wasn't asked to vet the secondary tagline recommendation.
"I'm asking in the future that we don't leave the committee out of the process when they've been involved all the way," Bujalski said.
DiSpirito said in an email Friday that city staffers didn't reach out because the committee had already said during a meeting earlier in the process that a secondary tagline wasn't needed.
Commissioners also chose final designs Thursday for letterhead, business cards, envelopes and marketing materials. Wilesmith will spend the coming months creating a marketing plan for the city, businesses and organizations that want to roll the new brand into their own advertising materials.
The new brand has already been incorporated into Dunedin's new website, which debuted this week.
In other action
•A two-month street reconstruction project aimed at relieving flooding along Norfolk Street is expected to begin by the end of July. Commissioners unanimously approved a $383,000 contract that will roll the road, curb and pipe work into the ongoing drainage work on Dunedin's south side.
The approval raised questions by Bujalski, who was concerned that $259,000 had been diverted from a different project. Until she asked, she said, the commission wasn't informed that work on Norfolk meant that the burying of utilities along a small section of Douglas Avenue wouldn't be completed.
"That's not the way this was originally presented," Bujalski said, adding that she still supported the Norfolk project. "My concern is we haven't had a conversation up here on the dais about undergrounding all of Douglas except this one section."
Engineer Tom Burke said Friday that the city didn't have the $520,000 required for putting utilities underground and that residents who attended a recent neighborhood meeting didn't express interest in completing it.
Commissioners and the staff agreed to discuss the details at a later date.
• The city postponed talk about architectural plans for the Lorraine Leland affordable housing project and renewal of the city's Jolley Trolley contract while Pinellas County and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority gather more information.
Keyonna Summers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (727) 445-4153, or on Twitter @KeyonnaSummers. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.