Work continues on new branding project for DDA

Designers are working on a new branding plan for Grand Haven's downtown, which is expected to launch in June. Dana Kollewehr, Grand Haven Main Street DDA executive director, said since the public work session on the brand in February, officials have looked at feedback from the public and begun work on a number of items, ranging from color schemes to website design. "A lot of time has also been spent looking for visual items,' she said.
Alex Doty
Apr 22, 2011


These visual items include photos that represent the community, such as sidewalk cafes downtown, the area along the waterfront and the Musical Fountain.

“We’re trying to get all of these photos to our consultant so we can develop a color scheme,” Kollewehr said.

She said the consultant has a software program available that can pick common colors in the community.

“We don’t want something that isn’t there,” Kollewehr said.

Design consultants are also looking at the verbal aspect of the new downtown branding plan to go along with the visual aspect.

“We have also been reviewing a series of tag line concepts,” Kollewehr said.

Grand Haven was selected by the Michigan Main Street program to take part in the rebranding services, which are being offered by W. Designs.

Grand Haven — along with Boyne City, Clare and Niles — will receive branding services from W. Designs. Elements include new logos and a new Main Street program website. Participants will also be trained on website management and effective brand management.

To read more of this story, see today's print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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I find it funny, well really more irritating that a group like the Grand Haven Main Street DDA went to design firm outside of the state to develop their new identity/brand. This is not the first time a group that promotes local businesses has gone elsewhere to hire a company to create promotional materials, magazines, branding and websites. The Visitor’s Bureau, Chamber and now DDA has outsourced work that could have been done by a local Tri-Cities or West Michigan Designer or Design Firm. They even could have sought out several freelance designers to create a new brand for Downtown.

We are coming back slowly from a recession/depression in the West Michigan area and sending work out of state is part of what had caused it in the first place. There are so many designers/design firms in the area that could have created the perfect brand for the DDA, some being award winning firms. The thing is if they had hired a local designer the money would have found its way back into our local economy and even into the businesses downtown Grand Haven, the same place the DDA is trying to promote.

Whether it was a design firm from Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Holland, or Muskegon many of the people who work for these businesses, live and play here in Grand Haven. When the DDA decided to go outside the area the money that they paid for the new branding went with the work, so one less dinner at Kirby’s, Cup of Coffee at Jumpin’ Java or a catering job for Elegance of the Seasons…And so on! Not only does an area design business lose out so does all the other area businesses. I say pretty lame and shame on you Grand Haven Main Street DDA! Not to mention much of the money for this came from the Michigan Main Street Program.



Regarding the last posters comment, and as a designer for both of the following companies - much of the design work was done by RC Productions in Muskegon and the printing of the banners and signage was done by Source One Digital in Norton Shores. Many of the employees from both companies live in spring lake and grand haven and actively support the community and it's projects.


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