By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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This is the tagline a consultant team of two brothers from South Carolina, Ben and Tripp Muldrow, developed for the downtown business area along with proposed logos featuring the silhouette of a circular saw blade.
“It's a bit of a jarring image, and I did that on purpose,” said Ben Muldrow, one of the consultants from Arnett Muldrow and Associates of Greenville, S.C.
He said he wanted a graphic that grabbed the attention of both visitors and residents.
The Muldrows said the tagline alludes to the community's logging past while touching on the finer things the downtown now has to offer, such as myriad restaurants and art installations.
“One of the first things that jumped out to me was the art in the community,” said Ben Muldrow said.
The Muldrows presented the proposed tagline, new logos and other advertising materials for the downtown to a gathered audience of about 25 Port Angeles residents and business owners at a meeting Thursday on the second-floor conference room of The Landing mall on Railroad Avenue.
The brothers' presentation followed brainstorming sessions earlier in the week during which they gleaned from residents, business owners and city officials what makes downtown unique.
“You all need and deserve to have a destination identity for your downtown,” Ben Muldrow said.
“It needs to be independent of any organization. It needs to be an open-source identity.”
The work is part of a re-imaging effort for the downtown sponsored by the Port Angeles Downtown Association, which paid the Muldrows $12,000 to develop a new logo for the association itself.
The Muldrows presented samples of proposed logos, most with a circular saw blade to commemorate Port Angeles' logging history and recognize the continued importance of the forest products industry in the city.
The logos feature the words “Downtown Port Angeles: Rough Cut, Fine Grain” printed on either a forest green or tannish yellow background with the saw blade serving as the center image.
Ben Muldrow said the saw blade silhouette could be swapped out for a Christmas tree during the holidays, for example, or other event-specific images while still keeping the basic structure of the logo.
Bob Lumens, president of PADA, said he liked the saw blade motif, though he said he heard from others after the meeting who felt it was a bit too aggressive and masculine.
'Who we are'
“I like that feeling that says this is who we are, this is where we've been, and this is still a part of us,” Lumens said.
PADA Executive Director Barb Frederick said the saw-blade image was “growing on her” and that the proposed tagline and logos successfully captured the spirit of the area.
“I thought it was great,” Frederick said after the meeting.
“They really, I thought, caught the sense of our community and our downtown.”
The Muldrows also developed a number of sample advertisements that featured images of Port Angeles Harbor and the Olympic Mountains to show that all these areas belong to the community.
Lumens said he could appreciate the use of natural images but would have liked to see more images focusing on the downtown arts scene, such as a photograph of a saxophone, for example, during a performance at one of the music venues.
Need 'fine grain'
“[The sample ads] gave some of the past and the natural without giving so much of the fine grain,” Lumens said.
During the presentation, Ben Muldrow said driving out to Ediz Hook was one of the more visually striking experiences he had while in Port Angeles.
This was because of having to drive through the Nippon Paper Industries USA plant and then being treated to a view of water to the north and the Olympic Mountains to south, he said.
“I cannot think of a more industrial portal for you to go through,” Muldrow said.
“And I don't think that's a bad thing. It's part of your character.”
The Muldrows also suggessted that PADA change its name to the Port Angeles Downtown Partnership to better symbolize the reliance of the organization on the downtown businesses that comprise its membership.
“Without its partners, the organization is not successful,” Tripp Muldrow said.
Up to the board
Frederick said the decision to use any of the proposals ultimately will be up to the PADA board of directors.
Lumens said association board members and Frederick will continue to work with the Muldrows and refine the tagline and images they presented based on attendee comments gleaned from Thursday's presentation.
“It's a great starting point,” Lumen said.
“I'm optimistic. I'm excited that there could be change afoot.”
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.