Riverfront Park Brand
Director of Marketing
BUILDING A BRAND IS NEVER A WALK IN THE PARK, but when developing a new identity for the heart of a city (that also happens to be a park), it takes a particularly thoughtful approach.
Riverfront Park is Spokane’s crown jewel —100 acres stretching along the Spokane River in the roaring heart of our city, offering views of the largest urban waterfall in the United States. In 2014, voters decided to renovate the park, including upgrading the U.S. Pavilion, building a new facility for the historic Looff Carrousel, constructing the first Ice Ribbon on the West Coast, and so much more.
Courtesy of the Northwest Room. Spokane Public Library.
With all of these investments, this ‘new’ park needed to update its identity to better position itself for what it is about to become. Since the park has been an iconic part of our city, we understood there would be no shortage of opinions about how to best accomplish that goal.
Here is a little insight into our process:
1. Get input
We needed to create a brand that would honor the history of the park while positioning the park for the future. We conducted listening sessions with City of Spokane and Parks and Recreation staff, and stakeholders from the community—including people from businesses, tourism and the arts. Feedback helped us hone in on what a new brand needed to represent.
2. Establish criteria
From there, we whittled down what we heard into themes: The new brand should feel sophisticated yet neighborly, active, and modern and contemporary—while keeping in touch with the park’s heritage. The new brand had to depict both the city and natural landscape that makes Riverfront such an amazing urban park.
3. Shape ideas
With our criteria defined, we began work on early brand options. We held design sessions to expand idea generation and inform creative concepts. We walked Riverfront, letting the bustle and energy and beauty of the park wash over us. We developed over 50 early concepts before refining the group down to our top five. And from there, we worked with the City to select a single concept to represent the future of this great park.
The new Riverfront logo combines two of the park’s iconic structures—the clock tower and the pavilion—in a uniquely simple and abstract design that also evokes the cable-work of the Pavilion, the street grid of Spokane, and the crossing of many paths. Modern Green, Pacific Blue and Urban Grey represent the striking juxtaposition of the natural and urban elements that make this park unique.
One of the strengths of the final brand system is how it can easily be adapted for different seasons, events and promotions the park will hold on a regular basis.
4. Launch and celebrate!
Recognizing how important it would be to introduce the park’s new brand to the public, DH worked with the City to develop a plan to unveil the new brand. We recommended coordinating the launch of the new brand with the announcement of the opening of the Ice Ribbon, the first major project in the redevelopment. DH developed some pacesetter assets to help bring the new brand to life, including a large banner displayed in River Park Square, a brand video to provide context for the change, a brand one sheet, a winter activity guide and an event poster. This new brand was unveiled on Monday through the unfurling ceremony at River Park Square.
We have been honored to support the redevelopment of Riverfront park in this small way and look forward to enjoying the park—and its new brand—for decades to come.