published Sunday, August 11th, 2013

LaFayette, Ga., working to 'brand' downtown

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    People walk on the sidewalks on the square in LaFayette, Ga.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
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City officials in LaFayette, Ga., are still working to come up with a plan to "brand" the downtown.

The Downtown Development Authority got a gander, this past week, at the latest concept: It had the slogan "Downtown LaFayette -- A grand little town" superimposed over an image of the city skyline in this town of about 7,000 that's the county seat of Walker County.

But the Downtown Development Authority didn't give its stamp of approval to the design.

"We didn't vote to pick a design," DDA Director Matthew Williams said.

DDA member Michael Lovelady said the concept still needs refinement.

"It's still in process," Lovelady said. "I think we're within 60 days of coming up with something."

The city's effort to come up with a catchy slogan and logo to put on banners and T-shirts began with a contest open to the public with a $50 cash grand prize.

Forty-four people entered the contest, which had a June 1 deadline. There were a slew of slogans, but only two logos. Most of the entries were from inside LaFayette, but some were from Chattanooga and out of state.

The authority's design subcommittee is working on the branding concept. It's headed by authority board member Sharon Cunningham and includes non-DDA members David Cameron, an architect, and Sheri Aldridge, a photographer who works at the Bank of LaFayette.

Cunningham couldn't immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

There's been some concern among residents that the downtown logo will supplant the town seal, according to Williams. LaFayette is nicknamed "Queen City of the Highlands," and the town seal shows a towering pine near a lake.

But Williams says not to fear.

"Branding has nothing to do with the town seal," he said. "Branding and the town seal are two totally separate things."

Contact Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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