Opinions split on City’s choice of brand

City of St Augustine trademarkThe public affairs department of the City of St Augustine, whose director was one of three employees who selected the graphic artist to prepare a fourth brand for the 450th Commemoration, told Historic City News that, after its Monday night debut, the city commission “embraces the city’s new brand identity”.

On a split 4-1 vote during the regular meeting, the form of the latest 450th brand was approved by the City Commission. According to records obtained by Historic City News, the City paid $14,150.00 for the design; of which, a single payment of $4,716.00 has been paid to “We Are Charette”.

Jennifer Zuberer, 450th Communications and Resources Manager, and the second of the three employees who selected the latest graphic artist, and Dana Ste. Claire, whose $82,000 a year job as 450th Commemoration Development Director is literally on the line, may be convinced that the reportedly 140 community members, visitors and other City employees have purchased the best design — but nearly 1,000 other residents have an opposing point of view.

Wednesday at noon, St Augustine resident Deane Newsome created a facebook group, titled “Forego the Logo” and by yesterday, it already had 850 members — today it’s up to 930.

Newsome said he set up the facebook page for “a group of concerned St Augustine residents that feel the logo for the Commemoration of St Augustine’s 450th anniversary needs to be replaced by one more representative of our great city.”

He is asking people to visit the “St Augustine Identity Mark Presentation” post on the 450th facebook page “to complain that you dislike the logo”, and to tell the City, “it should be replaced”.


Timothy W Fleming, Deputy Director of General Services and Purchasing Manager, responded to a request from Historic City News yesterday explaining how it was that 29-year-old Emily, and her 33-year-old husband, Jeffrey Charette, came to be trusted with the responsibility of producing a winning design — after others had failed three times before.

The City issued a Request for Qualifications and Proposal for this work on September 26th and advertised the opportunity in the St Augustine Record and on the City’s website. The City subsequently received submittals from eight firms; including Charette.

Atlanta, GA 30309 Iconologic
Carmel Valley, CA 93924 Strategic Advisory Group
Cincinnati, OH 45242 Welt Branding
Coral Gables, FL 33134 VSBrooks Advertising
Dallas, TX 75243 Z Group Communications, Inc.
Denver, CO 80202 Development Counsellors International
Englewood, CO 80112 Hat Trick Creative
Fort Myers, FL 33913 Phase V of Southwest Florida, Inc.
Jacksonville, FL 32256 Quest Corporation of America
Livingston, NJ 07039 Burrelle’s Luce Media Monitoring Services
Maitland, FL 32751 Patterson/Bach Communications, Inc.
Marietta, GA 30060 Zenith Design Group, Inc.
Miami, FL 33156 The Cunningham Group
Nashville, TN 37214 North Star
New York, NY 10013 Cstudio Design
Newark, DE 19711 Sevenoutsource.com
Orlando, FL 32801 Fry Hammond Barr, Inc.
Orlando, FL 32806 Evok Advertising
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 Gold & Associates
Sanibel, FL 33957 Noise Inc.
St. Augustine, FL  32084 Hue & Co.
St. Augustine, FL  32084 Troika Studio, Inc.
St. Augustine, FL  32084 Verdeo
St. Augustine, FL  32084 We Are Charette
Tallahassee, FL 32302 Florida Redevelopment Association
Tallahassee, FL 32303 Taproot Creative
Tallahassee, FL 32308 Bright Red
Tallahassee, FL 32308 Kidd&Company, Inc. d/b/a Kidd Group
Tomball, TX 77377 Edge Networks
Torono, Canada M5A 2Y8 Entro Communications
UNK CoreMessage, Inc. (Will not submit a proposal)
UNK Mary Keiser

“Thirty-one firms or individuals responded to the solicitation,” Fleming told Historic City News. “Four are located in the city and one in Ponte Vedra Beach.”

Fleming forwarded copies of the three evaluation summary and criteria sheets indicating the individual scores awarded to the eight submitters by his supervisor, Jim Piggott, Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson, and 450th Communications and Resources Manager Jennifer Zuberer.

A question was raised in an article Wednesday night as to why the City would contract with a relatively new company when it was discovered that they had not yet obtained proper business licenses.

Fleming wrote a response saying, “Prior to award, a check was made of the Florida Bureau of Corporations website to verify that the top ranked firm was qualified to do business in the state.” He is correct that Charette’s Nevada corporation had registered, as a foreign corporation, to conduct business in the state. However, until yesterday, after our article was published, the Charette’s listed their residence address on all of their business paperwork.

The updated corporation documents now indicate that the company operates from an office at 24 Cathedral Place which would require, not one, but two business licenses. When asked why the proper business license had not been obtained, Fleming said he did not know about the status of their local business licenses.

Fleming did confirm that the City had not fully paid Charette, as they did during the First America Foundation fiasco. “A contract and purchase order were executed for the work,” Fleming told Historic City News. “The balance remaining to be invoiced by the consultant is $9,434.00.”

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Ste. Claire’s office says Charette submitted three different concepts. “The three concepts each had individual strengths,” according to the 450th Commemoration facebook. “These concepts were tested and updated based on feedback from more than 140 people.”

The next steps include an updated website with online store, creating and hanging light pole banners throughout the city, and producing merchandise to sell through an online store and the identity will be updated on existing components such as social media, email signatures and presentations.