Downtown Seattle Association

Project summary

The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) is a non-profit advocate for that works on issues such as housing, parks and public areas, transportation resources and public policy advocacy, as well as outreach to residents. While many stakeholders understood and valued DSA’s mission, there was confusion both internally and externally whether DSA was a branded family or a family of brands, and a misperception that the organization was elite or exclusive. This lack of a clearly articulated brand platform had become a challenge for effective communications and brand awareness.

Phinney Bischoff repositioned DSA as a vital and inclusive player that actively makes downtown Seattle a better place to experience. We conducted an extensive strategy process that assessed DSA’s current brands, led a brand articulation process, and facilitated extensive user focus groups and interviews. The insights we gathered from these efforts helped us develop an exciting brand platform and brand architecture for DSA and its four key programs. These deliverables then informed the development of the new graphic identity, strategic plan, print collateral, vehicle liveries and a robust website.

The selected concept, as an expression of the brand essence “City Makers,” centers on Downtown’s energy, evoking a vibrant, welcoming place to live, work, shop and play. We also produced a brand manual to include a brand definition, brand architecture/hierarchy, value proposition and key brand messaging to inspire consistent application. The new identity and supporting visual language has been extended to a host of supporting brand touchpoints, including their annual State of Downtown event and report, environmental signage and wayfinding.

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