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Workshop moves new Port Arthur logo and slogan forward

The Port Arthur City Council is tying up some loose ends to possibly get a new city logo and slogan adopted.

The council met for a workshop Monday to brainstorm ideas and plan a course of action.

Eric Sullivan, owner of e.Sullivan Advertising of Port Neches, said the current city logo was designed in 1972.

Sullivan spoke about logo samples. He said the rebranding committee went with the circle design with color palettes for the different entities.

After sifting through multiple slogans, the committee narrowed them down to three.

Icons will be used for the different departments.

Tiffany Hamilton, District 2 councilwoman and logo sponsor, went to different media outlets to make public comments over a nearly three week period.

Several comments were also made at www.portarthurbranding.squarespace.com, the city’s website for the logo and slogan. A graph was made to illustrate positive comments, no comments and negative comments.

Sullivan also recommended every department get a brand standard book on the consistent use of the logo.

“It’s very important,” he said.

For instance, business cards will cost $55 per box per person. Logos on vehicles were $55 each. The cards and logos will be printed at Port Arthur businesses.

For city employee apparel, an embroidered patch may be placed over the current logo on uniforms. Two thousand patches can be bought for $1.50 each.

Tammy Kotzur, executive director with the Port Arthur Convention and Visitors Bureau, was given the task of estimating the cost of converting to new logo.

Kotzur said the conversion can be done over a period of time.

“It doesn’t have to be an immediate rollout. It can be done over budget periods,” she said.

She added that some items, such as uniforms, can be paid through Hotel Occupancy Tax funds.

Signage can be covered by HOT funds too with $70,000 budgeted.

Adam Saunders, general manager of the Bob Bowers Civic Center, said if the order is completed by October and the start of the new fiscal year, it will actually be over three budget cycles

“It won’t hit you as heavy,” Saunders said.

RaNoda McClain-Lee, marketing manager with the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation, said a presentation about branding was given to the PAEDC board.

“They’re in agreement,” she said.

She added that the PAEDC’s marketing campaign of Build It, Ship It, Rail It is intertwined with the city’s.

The departments would have separate taglines, but the same picture for everyone.

Only the color would be different.

Morris Albright III, District 3 councilman, said the industry officials he spoke with don’t like the oil derrick design in the logo. They prefer the chemical plant design instead.

He further thinks the citizens need to decide on this.

“Twenty to 30 voting (on the website) aren’t going to decide this,” he said. “If we can, get the PIO (Public Information Officer LaRisa Carpenter) to run a campaign and find a way to get people to vote for it.”

Mayor Derrick Freeman said they can’t get 6,000 people to vote.

“I think this is a good thing to build synergy on. The price doesn’t scare me, but rushing into this, I think, is a mistake,” Albright said.

He further recommended a vote in May by the citizens on the branding.

“I’ve done a logo change and it was only used by a couple of people,” he said.

Charlotte Moses, At-Large Position 7 councilwoman, thinks it’s time to change the logo.

“By May we could be starting over from scratch. I hate to see us have to wait another two years,” she said. “We need to make a decision so we won’t have to prolong this longer.”

Sullivan said the more people involved in the process, the longer it will take.

City Manager Brian McDougal asked the branding to be unveiled as soon as possible. “I talked to other cities. I’m sensitive to the cost issue. It would take like a three-year period to phase it out,” he said. “The old logo is tired. We need a change. We need a new, fresh look and a new direction and do all these things at the same time.”

Osman Swati, District 6 councilman, asked why was there such poor feedback from voting on the website. Sullivan said resident have to put their name and address on the site and people are afraid of that.

Moses wants to keep the names on the site so the same people don’t vote over and over.

Carpenter said they could do another survey for a couple of weeks, but she doesn’t think it would get a larger sample size.

Freeman said they could do something on Facebook with a sponsored advertisement where residents can like and share.

“There’s a little less hesitancy on Facebook,” Freeman said.

Carpenter added they can limit it somewhat geographically.

Swati said there is no doubt in his mind the citizens want this logo changed.

Keith Richard, District 4 councilman, said the council should turn the branding over to Carpenter and Sullivan for networking from citizens.

“District 4 people aren’t real happy because they feel they haven’t received enough information,” he said. “We need citizens’ input and we need to finish this.”

Let’s have a presentation on a street program. That’s what they want.

The remainder of the workshop was spent discussing different methods of contact in addition to social media.

Hamilton said the city does want citizens involved, they just have to make the effort.

David Ball: 409-721-2427