College Park highlights being ‘a smart place to live’ -- Gazette.Net


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College Park is hoping to show off its smarts with a new logo and slogan aimed at promoting the community to potential residents and businesses.

The slogan, “A Smart Place to Live,” and a three-fold image highlighting the words, “College,” “Park” and “Maryland,” were selected by the College Park council, who hired a marketing company to come up with a selection of images and slogans that might best represent the city.

The logo and slogan are expected to roll out this spring as part of the city’s rebranding efforts, said Chantal Cotton, assistant to the city manager.

Cotton and economic development coordinator Michael Stiefvater have worked closely with Baltimore-based idfive LLC, which was paid $30,000 to help rebrand the city.

Matt McDermott, a creative director for idfive, said the company conducted interviews and surveyed the College Park community to develop the slogans and logos that would best represent the city’s unique qualities.

Cotton said the goal was to market the advantages of College Park to long-term businesses and residents, as well as promote a sense of community pride.

“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 that we have to offer,” Cotton said.

Councilman Fazlul Kabir (Dist. 1) said the rebranding is necessary, as there are a lot of misconceptions about the city.

“A lot of people, people who work here, do not live here. And the reason I think is miscommunication. They think, because we’re in Prince George’s County, that the city is unsafe, but that’s not true,” Kabir said.

Cotton said the new logo and phrase will appear on the city’s website and will be used in promotional materials and online media, as well as be featured in city materials on Maryland Day, March 25.

Cotton said the new logo will not replace the city seal, but will serve as a marketing tool in the city’s rebranding efforts.

McDermott said the slogan developed in part as a reflection of the community’s makeup.

“The residents themselves are a very educated bunch; even leaving out the college students, three-fifths have attended at least some college, and one in five has an advanced degree, which we thought was very impressive,” McDermott said.

McDermott said he worked with Cotton and Stiefvater to narrow the list of more than 100 slogans down to three, which also included “Small City, Big Possibilities” and “Smart, Naturally.”

“A Smart Place to Live” was the one that really emerged as the frontrunner with the council, McDermott said.

Councilman Robert Day (Dist. 3) said he likes that the slogan can be interpreted in many ways.

“You can look at it one way, that we’re a university town, or you can look at our cost of living, which is much lower than D.C. We’re also located midway between two major cities, D.C. and Baltimore ... there’s many different ways of looking at it,” Day said.

Councilman Patrick Wojahn (Dist. 1) said he’s very excited about the rebranding effort.

“We’ve got a lot to offer here, and I think this is a good way to show it off,” Wojahn said.

janfenson-comeau@gazette.net