By Holly Cook
A report featuring student-produced design proposals for a new Roeland Park brand was approved during Monday’s city council workshop and will be placed as new business for an upcoming council meeting.
In May 2016 the council awarded a largely pro-bono contract to Benedictine College to develop new branding designs for the city.
The three proposed designs feature Roeland Park-style homes, trees and the Kansas City skyline.
During a January workshop several councilmembers voiced concerns with the prominence of the skyline and argued the Roeland Park brand should focus on its community instead of Kansas City. The latest round of designs addressed these concerns by making the skyline less prominent.
Clay Johnston, Benedictine College assistant professor and program chair head for marketing, said the branding proposal was built on research indicating Roeland Park residents associate the city with friendly neighborhoods, affordability, nature and proximity to Kansas City.
Research also demonstrated a lack of defined identity for the city, which was an issue Johnston and councilmembers said made the design process difficult.
“As the city is progressing and changing the brand, I hope, will reflect that,” Johnston said.
City administrator Keith Moody called the report a good starting point and emphasized that accepting the proposal did not mean the council would take action on any portions of the report.
Mayor Joel Marquardt said he thought the city should accept the report but wasn’t sold on using any of the logos.
“Are they the right choice for our city I don’t know about that,” Marquardt said. “Maybe, maybe not.”
Councilmember Michael Poppa said the report should be accepted and used as a guideline for ongoing rebranding efforts. The remainder of the council expressed consensus with Poppa’s statement.
Johnston emphasized that design concepts were subjective and said he expected any new branding to be met with some resistance.
“It is a challenge to move forward,” he said.
You can see the students’ updated proposals for the city here.