By Holly Cook
The Roeland City Council this week had a chance to review three concepts for a new city brand produced by university students and their professors.
Clay Johnston, Benedictine assistant professor and program chair head for marketing, said the designs were based on research from two resident focus groups, citizen surveys and non-resident interviews. The research found there was a high degree of satisfaction with the city stemming from location/proximity, quietness, progressive social values, nature, and lack of a defined identity.
The three design concepts incorporated trees, homes modeled after Roeland Park real estate, and the Kansas City skyline.
Several councilmembers were not supportive of the Kansas City skyline component and questioned whether any of the three design concepts captured the essence of Roeland Park.
Councilwoman Erin Thompson said she would like to see branding that did not reference Kansas City and instead focused on Roeland Park’s unique characteristics.
Johnston said the skyline was utilized to portray the proximity element several residents identified as a positive aspect of living in Roeland Park.
Councilwoman Becky Fast said she felt none of the designs represented the “heart and soul” of Roeland Park. Fast acknowledged that creating the rebranding designs was a difficult task because the city was still trying to figure out its identity.
“I feel like we still have a ways to go in who we are,” she said.
Fast suggested pausing the rebranding efforts until the council was further along in plans for Roe Boulevard 2020 reconstruction and gateway elements at the old pool site and the corner of Johnson Drive and Roe.
Mayor Joel Marquardt said he thought the council should continue working on the rebranding so they could utilize the end product to shape gateway and Roe Boulevard 2020 plans. The majority of the council agreed with Marquardt.
Johnston said the student artists would continue to adjust the concepts after receiving feedback.
“It will be challenging to come to a consensus and I’m fully aware of that,” Johnston said.
The three design concepts will be presented Monday at the quarterly Roeland Park Community Forum, which starts at 6 p.m. at the Roeland Park Community Center.
Representations of the core designs are copied below: