POLL: What do YOU think? Two revised designs released for City of Burien logo

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After two proposed new logos for the City of Burien were presented by Tacoma agency JayRay – and rejected last October – two new revised ones were released this week.

The City Council will likely discuss and vote on which of these two logos to approve (or not) at Monday night’s (Feb. 27) Study Session:

(Click images to see larger versions:)



We’d like to know what YOU think – please tell us which logo you prefer in our Poll below (NOTE: while this poll is not considered scientific, it allows for only one vote per I.P. address):

Which logo design do you prefer?

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Here’s the city’s statement on this branding initiative:

On February 27, 2017, the Burien City Council will vote on a new logo for the City of Burien. They will be presented with two options: a new logo as well as a refresh of the City’s existing logo.

About the Logo Options

New Logo

  • The hand-drawn circle is simple, neighborly and authentic. It beckons the viewer in, unifying and wholehearted.
  • The iconic B is the center of focus, confident but unpretentious. The typography is distinctive and simple.
  • The circular shape is inclusive—inviting community, businesses and visitors in. Some may see a “place marker” when they view the logo, which is intentional, proudly highlighting that this is the place to be. The handcrafted feeling of the circle reflects Burien’s creative spirit. Among civic logos, the design is distinctive, bold and timeless.
  • The logo will reproduce well large and small, in a range of formats and media, for a consistent, professional presentation of the city.

Logo Refresh

  • Updated and fresh, the design depicts the region’s land, water and mountain. It retains the youthful feel and recognizable triangle form of the original Burien logo.
  • The simplicity and open white space suggests “room for life.”
  • The typography is neighborly and unpretentious.
  • The colors are slightly modernized and spirited.
  • The simplified forms will reproduce well large and small, in a range of formats and media, for a consistent, professional presentation of the city.

Brand Platform

  • Personality: Neighborly, Spirited, Unpretentious, Wholehearted, Enterprising
  • Position: A close by city, with room for life
  • Promise: Burien will always inspire you to create

About the Burien Branding Initiative
The logo redesign is part of the larger Burien Branding Initiative the City initiated in 2015. The five-phase project started with an extensive community outreach effort, followed by the development of a brand platform and development of a logo. The cost of the initiative is funded by a Business & Operations (B&O tax) increase approved in 2014 and implemented in 2015. The City Council directed the revenue to be spent on economic development programs. This initiative is one of several projects to be funded from this revenue.

Once the logo has been approved by Council, City staff will move to the final implementation phase of the branding project. This phase will include updating:

  • City-owned communications channels, such as our website, social media, as well as printed materials residents receive in the mail, like the PaRCs Department’s catalog and Burien Magazine
  • Signs on streets, parks and buildings
  • Decals on City-owned vehicles
  • Badges and decals used on Public Works and Burien Police Department uniforms

Why Re-Brand Burien?
Economic development has been a top priority of the Burien City Council as well as our residents for many years. The need for a strong, professional brand for Burien was identified as a top priority during the January 2015 City Council Retreat.

Branding is one of many City Council priorities, including public safety, human services and building and maintaining the infrastructure that connects us all. A strong economy driving sales and other tax revenues is how we pay for those services. Branding is an important tool for increasing economic development and encouraging community pride.

Burien currently has a brand – one that is increasingly defined by outsiders and that fails to capture the community spirit, attractive location, and unique personalities of our diverse residents and businesses. Re-branding Burien is a way to communicate Burien’s vision and values, both to our residents and to visitors and potential investors. It will help us execute our new business retention and recruitment plan, help attract a hotel, and differentiate us from our competitors.

As we attract more visitors, residents, and businesses to our community, our economy will get stronger. A brand plays a big role in defining and communicating a community’s success.

A ‘Burien Brand Advisory’ committee assisted in this branding process, and included:

  • Kathy Justin – Burien Arts Commission Chair, design professional (KMJ Design)
  • Maureen Hoffmann – Graphic design professional (Kunstdame), past Burien Arts Commission member
  • Judy Coovert – BEDP Member, printing professional (Printcom, Inc.)
  • Andrea Reay – Executive Director of Seattle Southside Chamber, past Burien Arts Commission member
  • Gina Kallman – Cultural Arts Supervisor, City of Burien
  • Chris Craig – Economic Development Specialist, City of Burien
  • Dan O’Brien – Surface Water Management Engineer, City of Burien
  • Laura Crandall – Local Government Management Fellow, City of Burien, past printing professional

In work sessions, the committee used the following criteria to evaluate logo options:

  1. Is it consistent with the Burien’s brand 3Ps?
    • Personality: Neighborly, Spirited, Unpretentious, Wholehearted, Enterprising
    • Position: A close by city, with room for life
    • Promise: Burien will always inspire you to create
  2. Does it represent Burien authentically?
  3. Does it distinguish Burien from other places?
  4. Can it be reproduced successfully large and small; in color and in black and white; digitally, printed, embroidered and etched; and on a variety of materials?

Based on these criteria, they recommend the Circle B design:

      • The hand-drawn circle is simple, neighborly and authentic.
      • The typography is distinctive and simple.
      • The circular shape is inclusive—inviting community, businesses and visitors in. Some may see a “place marker” when they view the logo, which is intentional, proudly highlighting that this is the place to be.
      • The handcrafted feeling reflects Burien’s creative spirit.
      • The logo is playful and unpretentious highlighting the fun that happens in Burien, through its community, arts, outdoor activities and events.
      • Among civic logos, the design is distinctive, bold and timeless.
      • The logo will reproduce well large and small, in a range of formats and media, for a consistent, professional presentation of the city.

As we previously reported, the City contracted to spend at least $93,000 with a Tacoma agency named JayRay to develop this logo, which was rejected mostly because of design flaws (i.e.: gradient colors don’t scale well):

Two Councilmembers even suggested keeping the current logo (see below), perhaps somehow tweaking it to better focus on what some said makes Burien a place people “want to come to live and to work” (hence the “refresh” logo).



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32 Responses to “POLL: What do YOU think? Two revised designs released for City of Burien logo”
  1. Looks like a skyscraper in the refresh logo. Huh? Don’t like the B. Call me a fuddy duddy but my favorite is the current one.

    • Dena R says:

      The B looks very simple and to childish. The refresh logo with the buildings does nothing and shows what a waste of money this was. I would say keep the current logo as it is already well known in our area and represents it well.

  2. Heidi Johnson says:

    With all the crime escalating I see why the city has a priority on a new and oh so better logo verses a new officer. Unreal. Waste of money that is needed elsewhere. I can see where your priorities are. Obviously public safety isn’t one of them.

  3. Bill says:

    “Well I wasn’t going to spend money in your city, but since I saw that sweet logo I just couldn’t resist….. -“no one”

    • Heidi Johnson says:

      Exactly Bill. Branding with a new shiny logo will not attract new business, they see the crime stats. That is exactly why the city is empty and has been for years. Everyone in this state knows it is crime ridden. They know that Burien city government fails miserably when it comes to public safety and no amount of polishing with a high dollar logo is going to change that fact. This is just like sweeping dirt under a rug. Shameful.

  4. Barbara Levich says:

    I’m not crazy about either one. The most used reference is B-Town which I think would be good to tap into.

  5. Lakeview Too says:

    B is for “Better”…Both are okay but I think the “refresh” logo nicely honors the student’s original design. I sort of miss the sailboat with the sail blowing in the opposite direction from the tree bending in the wind. The mountain is now taller than the tree, reflecting a more realistic scale. It looks like it will be much more printable. You’re probably already doing this but might want to make it an EPS file, so the colors can’t be tweaked and develop into some graphic standards so that it doesn’t show up as “embossed refresh logo” or “spray paint logo” somewhere and has a standard look and palette of colors that are required to be used. 🙂 Since it’s our official “seal” so to speak.

  6. Nina Rowland says:

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been doing graphic design for 25 years. I’m not a logo designer, but have worked with hundreds of logos over the years. The B in the circle logo is neither new, fresh or innovative. There are thousands of logos exactly like that around the US. For the money that’s being paid, I’d expect a unique, fresh logo. While the redo of the current logo is 100% better than their first attempt, it is very “old-school-city-logo.” I’ve also been on tons of committees trying to chose artwork and I know how hard it can be. I just think they’re using the wrong person/people for this design and aren’t having enough good logos to chose from.

    • Time to move on ... says:

      Nina, I appreciate your input. Seems to me that any design agency that names itself ‘JayRay’ gives a big clue as to their lack of originality and/or vision. To be asked to pay for the ‘B in a circle’ logo is insulting. Reminds me of a stickers one sees at a yard sale.

  7. bridgewatch says:

    This is absolutely stupid with the shooting rampage on Friday night, the.sunday night destruction of The library homeless shelter, tagging etc, , the theft of the metal sculpture and bike racks from the park plaza etc., the mysterious firing of a wonderful city manager and economic development manager and your fooling with this crap! Massage Lucy needs to go! in fact the whole lot of incompetant council needs to go…lets try again! tosta, wagner, berzerkowicz, bell, armstrong, and snakehead..bob, good riddance! Burien burns and these fools fiddle! SHAME….We simply deserve better and notice to you fools..we are going to get it in the months ahead! Sanctuary City? Incredible! It was always here and if we have to re-invent the underground railway for the “dreamers” we will! No one will mess with these incredible Americans…including QA!

    • Question Authority says:

      I’m on board with the problematic crime surge and the Council needing to go but then things got confusing. “Dreamers” or “Anchor Babies” for that matter exist because of the law breaking actions of parents, strange quandary where innocence trumps the law. Start with the criminal element and those in violation of standing orders and go from there, what good is law and a sovereign nation without consequences.

      • bridgewatch says:

        qa, Stay on point,,.The Dreamers were born in America…they are American. They have and continue to make incredible, incredible contributions and achievements. Minimal issues, regarding their parents will be delt with separately as appropriate. To imply your vague categorization of these individuals is simple racism and low self esteem on you part. Give it a rest and deal with your “crabs in the basket” mentality. Your rants are getting old and fail with any intelligent, critical thinking individual. Sorry……

        • Question Authority says:

          I was taken off point by your earlier comment and need to correct your latest one.
          “Dreamers” are not born in America, they were brought here before the age of 16 by family as explained by easily searching the web so you are mistaken and incorrect. P.S. I like the revised logo, but it should have been an in Burien contest.

          • bridgewatch says:

            Yea, right…they came here at 6 months, 1 year old, 2 years old, 3 years old, 4 years old, 5 years old, 6 years old, yada, yada, yada, yada…still makes your intolerence just as odious.
            Many, 17 years and older have done a simply outstanding job serving the US Military…did you, I did! Give it a rest. What did Emma Lazarus say at the base of the Statue of
            Liberty? Go figure…

  8. Catharine says:

    I understand the frustration one might feel, perceiving that paying for a city re-branding effort is lower priority than hiring new police officers, however, the various facets of a city’s economic development and public safety ARE related, and the projects involved are numerous, complex, and years in the making. Nothing will bring more crime to our town than poverty and main thoroughfares lined with empty storefronts. More business means more tax dollars for police and public safety.

  9. WHY ARE YO DOING THIS??????????

  10. Lori says:

    Seriously? This is what we get for our doubling of the B&O tax?
    Truth is, you can only put so much lipstick on this pig! There are many more pressing issues that need to be addressed before a new logo. Bad press and lack of action will trump a shiny object every time.

  11. KateBB says:

    2 additional police officers at the livable wage of $46.5K a year would have been a much better use of funds.

  12. John Justbe says:

    The Circle B looks like a subway stop sign. I’d really prefer to not have people think of Burien as a place where they have to go in order to get somewhere else.

    The refreshed logo looks okay, but it fails to represent any activity, unless it’s the activity of clearing streets after the tree has fallen and knocked out your power.

    $93,000? I can think of a lot of Town improvement projects that money could have been better spent on.

  13. Heather says:

    $93k for a logo? Do you know how many dumpsters you could rent with that money?!?! This is f*n ridiculous. That money could & SHOULD have been spent on more important things. What they should have done is have a city contest. Im 100% positive that there are some very creative & talented folks in our city that could have come up with something way more impressive than a $93k pos logo. Our cities priorities are all jacked up. Oh so looking forward to that meeting on the 6th.

  14. The current logo was designed by student, Savannara Kong, in 1991. It was never rendered professionally and does not reproduce well. At a minimum, it needed to be “cleaned up” at long last so that it’s crisp and reproducible. While they were doing this recent “Refresh” of the logo (as one option up for consideration), they removed the sailboat (we don’t have a marina or sailboats in Burien), and created a sense of the “built environment” (Town Square, etc.) to add to the representation of the natural environment here in Burien. (We have both.) The Burien name has been made more legible. The student’s original concept has been maintained while improving the overall visual strength and viability of the logo. After 24 years since incorporation as a City, it’s time we spend time and money to polish the image we put out into the world. This effort is long overdue.

    • Time to move on ... says:

      I appreciate your knowledgeable input Maureen. I have some other concerns about how this is being handled. Though I can appreciate the need for Burien to have an identifiable image, this push for a new image has always seemed manufactured. We have had an image that was well liked. Certainly doing whatever it would take to make it easily reproducible would be less costly than all the time, money and effort already spent creating a new logo.
      I like the old image because it conveys a ‘feel’ for the place. We may not have a marina or, for that matter Mt Rainier or the Olympics within our boundaries, but we are blessed with the presence of these giants and our sea air and sound views. What remains of our grand old fir trees keeps us being ‘us’ and not one more built-up area. So I like the way the old logo includes the feel of the mountains, sea and grand trees. It says home to me. For those who are upset by the tree being bigger than the mountain, I suggest standing near a tree and look at the mountains, which is bigger? It’s all a matter of perspective, and the art of expression. By contrast, the new pruned version has nothing to differ our local from any other burg in western Washington. Not only is there no sailboat, but even the mountains and birds have been removed. Perhaps we are trying too hard to look like that other ‘B’ town, Bellevue.

      • Lakeview Too says:

        I’m the one who observed that the tree size has changed. 🙂 I’m not upset, it’s just an observation. You’re right, it depends on perspective. The trees are closer to us than the mountain, which just seemed REALLY small to me in the logo no one liked.
        Our current logo works well (in my opinion) as a wood block on the Parks signs; on official documents not so much. Maybe it could be kept for the parks signs, since updating the logo on things could be done in phases (official docs first, signs later since there are other things to focus on next, i.e. safety).
        The feel of the original tree says to me “We’re breaking out of the bounds of our non-isosolys (sp) triangle!” and “We have giant old growth trees” and “this thing feels asymmetrical to me…” and is genuine and artistic. It’s not so good as an official seal from the perspective of someone putting it into documents. Some cities have both an official “seal” and a logo with or without a tagline. It looked sort of weird blown up big on the back of a bus, IMO.

  15. bridgewatch says:

    Rubbish….we have bigger problems! The wonderful bike rack in the park was stolen this weekend to be sold as scrape! It was a terrifuc metal sculpture! the bike racks at the library were attempted to be stolen also on Sunday evening….you simply don’t get it, and a logo will not help a dying/dead rundown mess of a city with no police….do you understand, over the past three years over 20 business windows on 152, 153, 149 th have been smashed out in the middle of the night? Let alone the shooting rampage last Friday evening at the transit center and multiple shootings in the past two years. Do you get it yet, Mo? Can’t believable…your out of touch or in denial or simply stupid…more of the later I am sure? Come to the City Hall, Library Homeless/Vagrant shelter (by lifestyle choice) on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday night after closing, at 1,2,3,4, 5, 6, 7, AM in the morning and see for yourself what is destroying your city! Go at these hours and see…you will be appalled…wear your boots to avoid, the vomit, feces, urine,heroin, meth and everything imaginable. Check the back and front of City Hall and that is the whole group you choose to reach with your $93,000 logo! You talk about “image” your coming across as a fool and totally out of touch…sorry. You should be on the City Council! Out of touch. Hoping for a grant! Pathetic.

  16. Linda says:

    I like the Refresh logo. The falling tree on current logo has always bothered me. It is what I would see first, and “it was always falling.” The tree on Refresh design much better. Refresh doesn’t have the sailboat and that is better. I never thought of Burien and sailboats.

  17. george says:

    Too bad they didn’t use a local artist and keep the money in the community.

  18. Kim says:

    $93,000 !!!!!?????? WHAT! Burien is really disappointing me right now…. the “B” should stand for Bad Budgeting

  19. Betsy says:

    The “B” looks like what you would use on the exterior of the “B” Building in a large medical complex or maybe floor “B” in a parking garage. I wish they’d use the other logo but put the sailboat back in.

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