Blogs | Ethan Shorey

Pawtucket paid $5,000 for a logo, slogan and website

The widespread consternation over the $500,000 spent on the design of a new “Rhode Island: Cooler and Warmer logo” for the state got me to thinking about the rebranding Pawtucket officials commissioned last year.

Working with city-based Glad Works, Mayor Donald Grebien and his staff got a new website (www.pawtucketri.com), logo, and “Pawtucket: Join the Evolution” slogan for just $5,000. Grebien spokesman Rico Vota said officials worked closely with the Glad Works staff on the concept of what they were looking for, and the company came back with "Join the Evolution," which combined with the logo pays tribute to the city's industrial past while pointing to a new future.

Clearly there’s no comparing the scale of what Pawtucket officials are trying to accomplish and what Rhode Island leaders are going for, but looking at the price tags for the two, it’s apparent in retrospect that Pawtucket got a lot of value for its money.

There was some criticism of the city logo when it first came out, but nothing like what we’ve seen in the early days of the "Cooler and Warmer" one. Though there are still some who don’t like the city’s new branding, the “Join the Evolution” mantra has caught on with many business owners and residents.

City officials report that their attempt to rebrand the city as part of a long-term effort to lure and attract new businesses, spur economic growth and generate interest in the city has so far been quite successful and well worth the money spent.

“We have already seen some of these goals come to fruition, thanks in part to the coordinated, modern and professional look the branding presents,” Grebien told me in an email.

The mayor said owners of the Peregrine Group, LLC, who are spearheading a mixed-use riverfront development project at 45 Division St., recognized the city's call to action and efforts at revitalization as something they wanted to be part of. They continue to closely partner with the city by using the logo and tagline as part of their presentations to state officials when they market their project, he said.

More recently, the Isle Brewers Guild unveiled a new logo for its headquarters, The Guild, that ties in with the city’s water wheel-inspired logo. Isle owners have repeatedly said that they’re excited to be part of the “evolution” when they start brewing later this year.

Grebien said officials are proud of the fact that they partnered with a Pawtucket-based design firm to create the new logo and tagline, as well as the (vastly improved) website. The company’s “intimate knowledge of Pawtucket's rich history and industrial roots helped capture the spirit of ingenuity that our city is known for and has helped us promote the fact that Pawtucket is a great place to live, work, play, raise a family and conduct business,” he said.

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