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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Mayor's Message: City's rebranding focuses on the wild side

Henry Balensifer
By Henry Balensifer, Thursday, April 11, 2019

If you follow the city of Warrenton’s Facebook page, read last week’s The Columbia Press, or recently received a letter from the city, you may have noticed we have a new logo.

The new look better represents our city and our marketing strategy. The logo is a circle inscribed with “The City of Warrenton” around the edge. Inside the circle is a scene that includes a soaring bird of prey, a small stand of spruce, and a fish jumping out of a stream. In the foreground is a Roosevelt elk with large antlers.

We are not in a rush to rebrand, so you’ll still see occasional items with the old fish logo for a while longer -- and website changes are still months out. Our staff are good stewards of your tax dollars, and they will use up the old stationary and such before using the new, branded items.

There was a host of reasons for this change, but since a logo symbolizes the city wherever it is seen, I want to explain this in detail.

Several years ago, the City Commission noted the logo was outdated and was too singular in its representation of the city. Many new ideas for an image were presented, but little came of it.

Commission efforts aside, the city worked with the Lower Columbia Tourism Committee (LCTC) on how to differentiate Warrenton as part of its “Discover Astoria-Warrenton” marketing campaign.

LCTC looked to social media to see what excited visitors during their time in Warrenton.

We found that people visit Warrenton to be in nature, go camping or storm-watching, make s’mores over a fire, dig clams and watch the sunset in the wild on undeveloped beaches.

Warrenton, when compared to Astoria, is a rugged place full of wildlife and pioneering people. This generated a branding theme of “Wild Warrenton.” Other groups, such as the Hammond Marina Task Force, already had been formulating a “Warrenton Wild” theme, which only confirmed that marketing professionals and everyday citizens saw our great city through the same lens.

Last year, the City Commission sponsored a citizen-driven Economic Roadmap process during which it was discovered citizens had desired a new city logo to go with the cleanup and revitalization efforts underway in our downtown corridors (South Main and Pacific Avenue). This moved us to action. We reached out to Polk Riley of Polk Riley’s Printing & Design and, after only one revision, the new logo was approved.

As citizens have seen the new logo, we’ve received many comments about wanting the logo on a T-shirt or hoodie. City logos don’t typically make great apparel, so I’m glad it’s catchy enough that people want to wear it! Stay tuned for more on that.

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