City's New Logo 'Isn't for the Residents'
Members of the committee that selected the city's new marketing brand say they're satisfied with the result, pointing out that the logo is intended to appeal to people outside Dunedin, not people who already live here.
For longtime Dunedin business leader Gregory Brady, the city branding effort represents the culmination of a lot of hard work and solid research.
He is somewhat at a loss to understand the backlash and negativity that has surrounded the effort, a process that began nearly a year ago and could come to a conclusion in the next few weeks.
Brady, founder of Brady|Karlin Events and former owner of a Main Street hair salon, believes the new brand needs to draw people to Dunedin and not necessarily please its residents.
“The important part of a brand is getting noticed,” Brady said by phone. “People need to understand the logo isn’t for the residents; it’s to bring other people in to our area.”
Controversy Began with Osprey Design
Much of the controversy surrounds the original blue and green heart-shaped "osprey" logo, which Brady approved and grew to like, but he also agreed “it looked like something you might see at an assisted living facility.”
The osprey design received much public criticism, and the proposal was scrapped in favor of one on the shortlist. It depicted the word “Dunedin” spelled out in capital letters, with a colorful, wave-like “E."
Brady doesn’t care for the new logo, saying he “doesn’t believe the name should be the logo" and that any logo needs to transfer well in black and white and be able to be seen in small form.
Another longtime Main Street business owner Tina Marie Avila, who owns Casa Tina, Pan Y Vino and Cabana Cafe, agrees.
“I think it's too generic. Dunedin has always struggled with people trying to pronounce it. So the new logo won't help people remember it any easier. But at least we have one,” she conceded.
Avila knows firsthand how difficult it can be to get noticed.
"I've owned a restaurant here for 20 years, and for the first 12 years when I'd say I own a restaurant in Dunedin, people would say 'where's that?' — and these were people from Tampa and around here," Avila said.
Price Tag Also Drew Criticism
The other issue that drew negative reactions from citizens was the cost of the entire branding effort: $73,000.
According to Bill Francisco, CEO of AdSharp, a design and marketing company based in Dunedin, people should not assume the cost of the project is just for the logo.
“I was a member of the final committee that chose the logo … and it was a long, thought-out process that involved a lot of people," he said. "It was a research-based project that conducted a lot of surveys … and that costs money to do.”
In his expert opinion — Francisco has more than 40 years of experience in marketing — the price of the branding effort was quite reasonable.
“There’s a lot that goes into the creation and design of a brand and a logo," he said. "In my opinion, $73,000 is a fair cost … for the amount of time and energy that was put into it.”
Francisco does agree with Brady on the fact the logo needs to adequately represent the community, not placate citizens who believe it should contain every aspect of what makes Dunedin special.
“It’s pretty difficult to come up with a logo that’s completely different and unique in this area,” he said. “But the logo isn’t supposed to appeal to people who already live here. It’s supposed to bring new people and business to Dunedin.”
Whatever the final decision on the logo may be, Francisco just wishes people would appreciate all the effort that community members have put into the project.
"You've got to realize that we're not all going to agree when it comes to this issue," he said. "I don't mind if people don't like the design; I resent the fact that they didn't respect the process."