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Design for Rossland logos won't wait for the museum's "Gateway" project
Tourism Rossland has council's go-ahead to follow through on a community-wide branding project whose major near-term outcome will be a professional set of design criteria—font, colour, and layout—for the use of "Rossland" in the logos of the city's various organizations. City staff's recommendation that the branding be deferred as the "Gateway" project builds up steam was rejected by council.
Deanne Steven, the executive director of Tourism Rossland, explained to council on June 25 that each organization currently has "different logos in different colours." The goal of the branding project would be to "unify artwork across organizations to be more cohesive." She used examples from Castlegar, Cranbrook, Fernie, Revelstoke, and Elkford of how they've rebranded in "edgy" or even "out there" ways to "make it look like everyone's working together nicely."
She also explained that the practical implementation of the specific instances based on the new "design manual" would happen piecewise, for example as new stationary is ordered or new signage is planned. "There's no need to immediately change," she told council.
The next step, she said, is to identify potential projects and extend a request for proposals (RFP) so that each logo project can be priced out and partners can choose which ones they would like to participate in. A basic template would be designed; the "hard part," Steven said, is to get the logo "exactly the same every time." For that reason, she said, "We should probably be looking at one supplier."
Steven did not ask council for monetary support, noting that she had already secured a grant to cover a large portion of these initial costs, and was rather "coming to the city to ask if you're interested."
Several on council were certainly interested, but others were wary.
Mayor Greg Granstrom reserved judgement on June 25, noting, "This opens up some interesting concepts, but also some interesting cost factors." He said he would wait for "clarification from staff" at the next meeting.
Coun. Cary Fisher was supportive of "uniform branding," not just for city organizations or those with a strong connection to the city (like Tourism Rossland or the Chamber of Commerce) "but all the way down to groups like the [Kootenay Columbia] Trail Society, anything that people are putting out."
"We are a resort municipality, and [Steven] is asking us for a more uniform way to speak to people, residents and guests," he said.
On the July 16 council meeting, however, city staff recommended that council "defer" the branding initiative "until the Rossland Gateway project has been finalized and accordingly advises Tourism Rossland."
The Rossland Gateway project (http://rosslandtelegraph.com/news/rossland-museum-gateway-project-local-group-generating-innovative-ideas-19331#.UA-L1zFU3M8) has nothing to do with pipelines, but is rather an idea for an attraction at the museum that was initiated in response to the closure of the mining tour that was previously the museum's top attraction.
Granstrom is the spokesperson for the Gatewat group that includes representatives from a variety of organizations. They have been meeting since January to discuss the idea's potential, facilitated by community organizer Mike Stolte of Nelson.
Staff reasoned, "The Rossland Gateway project proposal is of significant economic and tourism value to Rossland and the region. It is imperative that the City and Tourism Rossland are not pre-empting this proposed project before it has been conceptualized and presentations made."
Steven spoke at the public input period on July 16, however, that the logo project and the Rossland Gateway "are two different things." She said, "There's no need to wait for the Gateway. We can come up with the fine details of the word "Rossland" fairly quickly, and we can get it into a number of different places. As we move along, we can implement it in a variety of different projects."
Coun. Kathy Moore also disagreed with staff that there was any reason to defer the branding (or logo) project, an opinion strongly shared by Coun. Jill Spearn and Coun. Jody Blomme.
Spearn said, "Tourism Rossland is looking for a branding that will sell us, market us, throughout the province and the world. I personally think that's a great concept and a great idea."
She noted great examples from other resort municipalities, and also good 'brands' within Rossland, such as the Chamber of Commerce.
Nevertheless, Spearn said, "If we want to sell ourselves as a community—in a positive way—if this project is ready to go and the stakeholders are ready, then we should go for it. The coat of arms is great, but our community and city need a strong emblem, and visual stuff is important."
Not everyone was so sure. Coun. Kathy Wallace, for example, wanted to distinguish "branding" from a "logo." She argued that branding is a "bigger project" that requires a lot of community consultation and needs to be "right the first time."
She identified the same core issue, however, the "multiple personalities" of Rossland: "We're the Golden City, we're the Alpine City, we're the Mountain Bike Capital, we're the home of Red Mountain and Red Stone, it goes on and on."
"I do fully support that we need to get it all together in one really marketable, sellable package," Wallace said. "I don't think [branding] is that simple. But if we're just talking about a logo, that's a different situation. I think it needs to be done, but I'm not so keen on having it done at this time."
Granstrom noted that the next Gateway meeting will be in August, and Teck has hired a consultant. We expect to have a pre-feasibility study ready in the next few months.
"This exercise," he said, referring to TR's logo project, "can wait until we have something more formal from the Gateway project. I don't see the rush here. If we're going to do this, we should do it all-inclusively and make it relevant to everything."
Moore countered, "I don't see any reason to wait for the Gateway Project. In fact, I think these two things can go hand-in-hand. It's not a financial commitment for the city. We're not approving any money attached to this at all. We're approving conceptually going forward with them working—as they've been working—to provide a unified image for the community."
Blomme added, "From a marketing perspective, it makes sense to have all organizations in Rossland be more cohesive."
She argued, "There have been grants allotted to it, a lot of work has already been done. There has been a lot of public input from different stakeholders. If we let it go, all that time and effort will have been wasted. There's so much impetus behind it, I think we should just go.
Moore explained again that the project is not intended to be 'all at once,' but rather implemented as the need arises. "As things run out they'll be replaced," she said, giving business cards as an example. "It won't be 'throw everything away and start over.'"
Coun. Tim Thatcher said, "I think we should just let them go for it. It's not really going to affect the city's business."
Council passed a resolution to "support in principle the concept of a community-wide branding initiative by Tourism Rossland."