Wake County

What do you think of this R? Survey seeks input on Raleigh’s brand

A look at some of the fonts included in the survey on the city of Raleigh’s brand.
A look at some of the fonts included in the survey on the city of Raleigh’s brand. The city of Raleigh survey

Residents can now weigh in on their city like they might help a friend pick out the perfect outfit.

Raleigh is asking residents to complete a survey as part of an ongoing effort to re-brand the city, and the questions seek feedback on everything from the city’s “mentality” to fonts.

The city last year budgeted a total of $226,000 to pay two firms – Oklahoma-based Cubic and The Assembly, a Raleigh company – to redesign the city logo, operating procedures and marketing materials to better reflect its reputation.

The Assembly, which is collecting the survey data, plans to use it to develop a branding theme to pitch to the City Council on June 20. The survey poses about a dozen questions.

One question asks residents what “tone” Raleigh’s government should use when engaging the public. Funny and youthful, or serious and matter-of-fact?

Another asks about the city’s identity. Is it “an organic, grassroots-like” city? A “matrix of interconnected systems?” One of the multi-choice options describes the city more poetically: “Collectively we are distinct, collectively we are stronger.”

The survey includes an essay portion. It shows the letter “R” in seven different fonts and asks residents to explain which best represents the city.

“Somehow, some way, the designers take this kind of feedback and use it to build a new logo and graphic form,” said Damien Graham, Raleigh’s communications director. “I have no idea how they do it, but I trust the process.”

The survey is available online at http://bit.ly/2q6mClh.

Paul A. Specht: 919-829-4870, @AndySpecht