City of Northport Issues Branding RFP

2020-01-27 by Jim Crickell
City of Northport Issues Branding RFP
City of Northport Issues Branding RFP

The City of Northport is soliciting responses to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from qualified professional firms with experience in community branding and logo/tagline development.The purpose of the Community Branding & Logo Development Project is to capture the character of Northport and use it to establish a brand for the City. The project will include brand expression, messaging and visual elements. One objective of the project is to create a modern and eye-catching logo that has a wide appeal and usage. The logo must be able to be easily adapted for usage by multiple City departments. Key stakeholders will participate in the project and provide feedback throughout the project.

The RFQ and information related to this solicitation will be posted online at www.cityofnorthport.org. Inquires related to this RFQ and the project should be directed to Max Snyder, Development Coordinator, at 205-469-4235 or msnyder@cityofnorthport.org.

Background:

In the days before Alabama became a state, the City of Northport, which is located on the north side of the Black Warrior River across from the City of Tuscaloosa, was the site of a convenient ford for those crossing the Alabama Territory. The earliest account of white travelers using the ford was in 1771. The river was navigable for a portion of the year up to the Tuscaloosa Falls, which was located at this point. According to W. S. Persinger who wrote the “Early History of Northport, Alabama”, the City became a settlement in 1813.

Captain Otis the area was Dyer ran a ferry between Tuscaloosa and Northport and laid out the streets and lots of Northport. In the early 1800’s, this area was the head of navigation with cotton warehouses located on both sides of the river. The principal market for cotton was the New England States. Cargo was carried by steamboats to Mobile and then by ship to the northern states and Europe. Generally, it took two weeks for steamboats to make a round trip from Mobile to Northport.

Traditionally, the settlement at Northport is believed to have been first known as “Kentuck” or “Canetuck”. One theory has suggested that the City was called Kentuck because the word meant paradise or Shangri-la during that time. A dictionary entry of the time read “Heaven is a real Kentuck of a place. “Persinger believed the name was “Canetuck” because the area was a cane-brake wilderness during this period. Nevertheless at some point in the 1800s, it became known as North Port. And why not? She had a “port” of her own on the north side of the river with equal facilities for taking care of all the cotton brought to the river from the vast territory north and west of the town. Also, the port was used for shipping and receiving freight by the river and furnishing all the territory with salt, sugar, molasses, rice, calico, whiskey, nails, plows, etc.

Northport’s early history revolved around the river, but the little town continued to grow after railroads and highways surpassed river traffic in the volume of transportation. During the Civil War, Northport suffered many losses as did most Southern cities. General Craxton’s raiders approached the City of Tuscaloosa through Northport and destroyed the bridge between the two cities Northport was incorporated in 1871. The first newspaper was the NORTHPORT SPECTATOR which existed from 1870 to 1873. A pre-Civil War school was located on Academy Hill and a free school was built by Northport between Main Avenue and the Mobile and Ohio Railroad depot in 1901. The city’s population at that time was approximately 600 people.

In 1920, Northport schools became part of the Tuscaloosa County School System. The next year, Northport Elementary was built “on the site of the old Robinson Race Track between the Byler Road and Crabbe Road”. Today, Northport is the site of the annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts, a long established, nationally recognized event which draws people to the area from across the country. This two day event features 300 invited arts, legendary music, southern folklife and outstanding children’s activities. Proceeds from this event support the Kentuck Museum and Art Center which houses the studios of six professional full time artists in downtown Northport. With a population over 20,000, Northport has been recognized as one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama.

Scope of Work:

The project will be a comprehensive community branding and logo development effort that will provide the City of Northport with high quality messaging and visual tools. The project will include, but may not be limited to the following elements:

1) Planning & Analysis: The City of Northport’s Retail Development Committee will work with the selected firm to develop goals and strategies for the project. Expectations, milestones, timelines will also be established during this stage. The firm must also work with Northport’s leadership to gather data and analyze current conditions and trends that will help develop the brand.

2) Engagement: The project will involve meetings with key stakeholders from various sectors of the City. The selected firm will facilitate the meetings to identify community qualities, strengths, and other elements that need to be captured in the community brand.

3) Reporting: Results from the initial analysis and engagement sessions should be compiled by the selected firm and presented to the key stakeholders. The findings should provide the direction for developing the brand and accompany messaging and visual elements

4) Brand Development: The selected firm will be expected to develop and provide several separate branding concepts, logos, and taglines to be reviewed by a small group of key stakeholders. The firm should expect to receive feedback and be willing to make revisions to proposed project elements before a final brand, logo, and tagline is accepted.

5) Brand Implementation: The selected firm will provide the City with a brand design guide that sets the standards and dictates the usage of logos and tagline. The document is expected to be in-depth and technical in nature. The document will set primary and secondary colors of the logo, fonts, and acceptable usage logo/tagline. Also, the selected firm will work with City officials to adapt the logo for use across several different City departments.

All responses and firms will be reviewed by the City of Northport’s Retail Development Committee. The responses will be evaluated on the following criteria:

• Quality and completeness of the response

• Past experience with similar projects

• Stability of company

• Project team members’ experience and credentials

• References provided in the response

• Proposed strategies and tactics

• Proposed project timeline

• Ability to coordinate and complete all aspects of the project scope

Due Date:

January 29, 2020

Address:

City of Northport

ATTN: Max Snyder, Development Coordinator

3500 McFarland Blvd

Northport, AL 35476

msnyder@cityofnorthport.org 

Relevant Agencies include Hunter PR and Alison Brod PR.