Everett’s new website successful, but logo is no more

EVERETT — The city of Everett launched a new website in March, and by many accounts it’s doing the job it should: being easier to navigate and manage.

But one element that was promised — a new city logo — never showed up, and now it’s certain that it won’t.

The city was caught flatfooted when it chose a logo in a public contest last year that was remarkably similar to one used by the financial services firm Envestnet.

The city and its cultural arts commission huddled and tried to figure out what went wrong where, talking with the artist who submitted the winning entry. When the website launched, the logo was absent.

On Oct. 14, city communications director Meghan Pembroke, who oversaw the website redesign, told the City Council that the logo would not, in fact, be used any time in the near future, and the city would continue to use its old one.

“Unfortunately, it has met an untimely end at this point,” Pembroke said of the new logo.

Of the process of selecting a logo, she added, “It’s point was to engage the community. On that point, it was overwhelmingly successful.”

The city paid a $5,000 honorarium to Seattle artist Sean Hamilton for the logo. The city decided in the end that, despite its similarity to the Envestnet logo, the logo was Hamilton’s original work.

Furthermore, the city’s legal team determined there wouldn’t be any trademark infringement, as there would be no risk of confusion between the city and the financial firm, Pembroke said.

“But it’s still not comfortable,” she said.

The rest of the website launch has been largely successful, and the city has received positive feedback from both the community and from city staff.

The most popular feature is the Newsflash email alert system, which now has more than 11,000 subscribers.

The most popular services or subjects include anything to do with pets, especially dogs, ranging from the Animal Shelter, to adopt-a-thons, dog parks, missing pets and the like.

The city expects to add more features, including online payments, mobile compatibility and an interactive map in the coming year.

The city is paying CivicPlus, a Kansas developer, $12,600 per year for three years of website maintenance and hosting.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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