published Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

LaFayette, Ga., seeks help with 'branding'

  • photo
    People walk on the sidewalks on the square in LaFayette, Ga. The city is trying to brand itself with a new logo.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
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Entries should be sent by email to Call 706-639-1519 with any questions. The deadline is June 1.

The city of Opelousas in Louisiana's Cajun country is "perfectly seasoned."

Downtown Laramie, Wyo., has "Cowboy Culture, Western Style."

Norcross, Ga., is "A Place to Imagine."

Now, officials in LaFayette, Ga., want to get on the "branding" bandwagon.

The city's Downtown Development Authority has launched a downtown branding contest and will accept entries until June 1 for a catchy slogan and accompanying logo to promote LaFayette's historic downtown.

The winner will get $50 cash -- and the satisfaction of seeing the idea used on shirts, banners and signs as the symbol for downtown LaFayette.

"It's a bragging right," development authority Director Matthew Williams said. "That'd be wonderful to say, 'I made the symbol for my hometown.'"

People submitting entries don't have to be from LaFayette, he said. The contest is open to out-of-towners. The development authority has encouraged high school students to participate, too.

"We want to have it as wide open as possible," Williams said.

Michael Lovelady, chairman of the seven-member authority board, said entries will be put on display at a town hall meeting so community members can help pick a winner.

"We'll set them all up and let them choose the one we like the best," Lovelady said.

Some have criticized the idea of opening the branding contest to the public, he said, and think the city should hire a professional.

But Lovelady believes the contest will increase community involvement, and he hopes a lot of people enter.

"The more the better," he said. "You're really also looking for folks to kind of think outside the box."

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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