Check out the new website of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership. And remember, Downtown Phoenix is in; Copper Square is OUT (hmmm, was the latter ever really “in?”).
[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — A business group plans to roll out new signs so that it’s easier to get around downtown Phoenix. Over the next two weeks, the public can look at the proposed signs on the Downtown Phoenix Partnership’s website and pick their favorites. This survey will be on the partnership’s website until Nov. 26. The signs, which are call wayfinding signs, are part of an ongoing effort to boost downtown Phoenix’s image. Last month, the partnership unveiled a new logo. Earlier this year, they officially dropped their old moniker, Copper Square.
Once a final design is chosen, the new signs will be built and installed sometime next year. The city has set aside about $2 million from a 2006 voter-approved bond for the signs. (Although the city faces a $250 million shortfall, the money for the signs can’t be used for city operating expenses. The first signs will appear during the week of the Feb. 15 the NBA All-Star Game, partnership officials say. [Note: To read the full blog entry, click here.]
[Source: Ray Stern, Phoenix New Times] — The Downtown Phoenix Partnership on Monday decided to dump its “Copper Square” branding of the downtown area and go with a new moniker: Downtown Phoenix. Practical, yes. Thrilling, interesting or creative — not. And neither is the so-called logo that comes with it.
Although it looks like a junior high school student could have designed this logo, it was actually constructed by a team at SHR Perceptual Management, a Phoenix-based ad agency. The Downtown Phoenix Partnership, made up of various downtown businesses, paid $160,000 to the firm to create the logo and new branding scheme. Jim Flynn, the partnership’s marketing director, says the phrase “downtown Phoenix” and the logo are supposed to symbolize downtown as “the urban hub of Arizona. It’s got urban offerings, spirit, a creative environment.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
[Source: Robrt L. Pela, Phoenix New Times] — In Jason Hill’s Phoenix, the sun never sets. His paintings of the city — a vibrant Valley National Bank framed by a glowing sky; a dazzling Financial Center with a jet jauntily speeding past — are thousand-watt, high-color beacons that send the same, simple, not-so-subliminal message: Phoenix is cool. Come see for yourself.
Laura Spalding’s paintings are more roundabout celebrations of our town. Onto old Arizona license plates and tin trays, she paints skies cluttered with telephone poles and electrical wires. Her cityscapes are testimonies to how amazing it is that Phoenix sprang up in the desert in the first place; homages to how it survived to become a prosperous, distinctive destination.
Georganne Bryant’s message is less subtle. Onto black, cotton T-shirts that she sells at her midtown boutique, she has had a local T-shirt artist silk-screen this legend: Love Phoenix or Leave Phoenix.
Something has shifted. Hill and Spalding and Bryant and dozens of others like them are having a public love affair with Phoenix. They’re opening cafes and launching Web sites and creating art that speaks of their pride in a city that most of us have gotten pretty good at mocking. Many of these folks would have us believe — and, perhaps, want to believe themselves — that we, the country’s fifth-largest city, have finally arrived. That Phoenix has at last, after decades of false starts and near misses, awakened from a slumber that lasted way too long. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic, June 18, 2008] — A Phoenix business group plans to stop using the name Copper Square that has branded a 90-block downtown retail-and-office district for eight years. The Downtown Phoenix Partnership is working with Scottsdale’s SHR Perceptual Management on a name that will highlight downtown Phoenix as “Arizona’s cosmopolitan heart,” said Cheryl Leas of SHR.
The name will also reflect the energy behind new downtown projects such as the light rail and Arizona State University’s new campus, she said. Some partnership members hope the marketing campaign will launch before the NBA All-Star game in February.
[Note: And in the best Phoenix New Times tradition, our local alternative news source is asking readers for their ideas for a downtown moniker. Already some doozies of course.]
[Source: Arizona Republic Editorial Board] — Metropolitan Phoenix is…an Opportunity Oasis. We are the last green economic “oasis” where raw ambition, hard work and a measure of skill can evolve, often quickly, into the quintessential Horatio Alger story. We are the “unpainted canvas” — the one community in America where someone with grit and a sense of creative enterprise can imprint his or her vision on the community and make it something different. Something more. Horatio Algers of the arts, apply here.
These are among the conclusions of a project known as the “Metro Phoenix DNA Project,” underwritten by the Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture. It is a quest to define what we are as a community and, as a result, help form what we may become. The quest is every bit as high-minded and expansive as it sounds. “We try to understand what the soul of the community is,” explained Myra Millinger, president and CEO of MPAC. “We firmly believe that the creative community here is a critical core competency to the future of the community,” she said Monday in a meeting with The Arizona Republic Editorial Board.
The need for such a concept may not be easy to get one’s arms around. Is it, for example, an impatient assessment of what metropolitan Phoenix is now? Is the very effort to construct a community raison d’etre a tacit admission that…well, this desert-region metropolis has no identity, so one must be created and marketed? Heaven knows, we’ve been down that road a time or two before. Downtown Phoenix just barely survived an ill-fated run-in with a branding thingy called “Copper Square.” Is this — gulp! — Copper Square Redux? And is it, when all is said and done, a mere statement of the obvious? [Note: To read the full article, click here.]