As part of a marketing plan to encourage more professors and working families to live in College Park, city officials are unveiling a new logo that will brand the city “A smart place to live.”
The city spent $30,000 to hire Idfive, an independent design firm located in Baltimore, which came up with four potential designs. Although all four were geared toward emphasizing the city’s assets, including its proximity to the campus and Metro accessibility, the final choice best summed up the city’s appeal, said Chantal Cotton, assistant to the city manager.
“We want to encourage people to think about how College Park is a smart investment because of its close proximity to both D.C. and Baltimore, because of the University community living here, as well as the beautiful neighborhoods and close-knit community of neighbors,” Cotton wrote in an email. “College Park is a smart place to live and we want to get the word out about it through our new logo and marketing plan.”
Some students said they were unimpressed with the logo, especially considering the expense to the city.
“It took no effort to come up with that kind of thing,” said Dan Baran, a senior fire protection engineering major. “A smart place to live — anyone can think of that in 10 seconds.”
However, Derrick Williams, a sophomore government and politics and Spanish major, said it will be a huge improvement from the city’s previous designation as “A livable community.”
“It makes sense, and it sounds a lot better,” Williams said. “It wouldn’t be as awkward to explain to guests that come to my house whether it’s a livable community or not.”
In order to provide the College Park City Council with multiple options for a new logo, Matt McDermott, Idfive creative director, collaborated with Cotton and Michael Stiefvater, the city’s economic development coordinator. Because roughly 80 percent of city residents have attended college, most of the ideas centered on education, McDermott said.
“We presented a number of logos and taglines,” he said. “Everybody got some input into it on the council. This was very much a collaborative effort — we certainly can’t take all the credit for it.”
The city will launch a full publicity campaign, using the logo for advertising across the city and around the state.
The current fiscal year budget includes an additional $30,000 for marketing, which the city council can decide to use to promote the logo, Stiefvater said.
The new logo could help bring “a new feel” to how people view College Park by highlighting the city’s benefits, including its ties to higher education, said Robert Day, District 3 councilman.
“I believe every person will have a different view on how [“A smart place to live”] applies to them,” Day said. “Could be meaning you’re living close to D.C., or close enough to Baltimore. … We have a very good location here.”
Although a sign located near the exit from Interstate 495 onto Route 1 declares College Park “A livable community,” the county is responsible for that logo, Stiefvater said.
“We’re looking forward to putting [the new logo] out there and having an effective campaign around it,” he said.