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Parks to spend $8,000 on product branding

Vashon Park District will sink up to $8,000 into a marketing endeavor — a branding campaign that will hopefully procure standardized viusal products for the district, in order to make the district more recognizable to Islanders.

With the help of volunteer and paid graphic designers, the park district will build on its current logo — the district’s name, followed by three blades of grass — to incorporate consistency into everything from the shirts park maintenance staff wear and the trucks they drive to all park district brochures, letterheads and business cards.

“The idea is that before anybody reads the content of anything visual, they immediately get the gut reaction of Vashon Park District,” said Susan McCabe, the district’s program coordinator.

Board members decided the district should pursue a branding effort, although the current “blades of grass” logo is a favorite of both board and staff members.

“The district needs to have a consistent presentation in the things that it brings out,” said David Hackett, chair of the park district’s board. “It’s OK when you’re a certain size and things look homemade, but we should be at the point where the district should generate things that appear consistent for the next many years.”

Staff have spent the last few weeks brainstorming with a volunteer graphic designer, and once they have a vision for the direction the district should go, they will begin working with the paid designer who will actually create all the “branded” materials.

“When you’re driving around the Island, there should be a sign at every park, and you should be able to tell it’s a Vashon park, and you’re spending your money on that,” Hackett said. “I hate to say this, but this summer I spent forever trying to find Fern Cove. It looked like it was closed to the public.”

McCabe said once the new products are developed, the shift from current materials will be gradual.

“It just wouldn’t make sense to burn everything we have,” she said.

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