King County updates logo to reflect namesake
King County changed its logo in 2007 from a gold crown to an original graphic image of civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King is an international icon for justice, equality, and peace, and the logo is symbolic of those same values embraced by King County on behalf of the people it serves, as a government that values inclusion, diversity and excellence.
In February 2006, the Metropolitan King County Council decided to replace the old logo with an image of the county's namesake, Dr. King. A year-long collaborative process resulted in adoption of a new logo created by local graphic design team, Tony Gable Design Group. The county completed a five-year, low-cost transition by using up existing supplies before ordering items with the new logo. King County pays no fee or royalty for the use of Dr. King’s image.
The change came as part of a 20-year bi-partisan effort that began in 1986 when then-County Councilman Bruce Laing proposed that the county's namesake be changed. The county was originally named in 1852 after Vice President William Rufus de Vane King, a slave owner and advocate for the Fugitive Slave Act. Since the namesake change, numerous state and local elected and community leaders advocated for state ratification of the namesake change and county council approval of a logo change.
In 2005, the state Legislature formally voted to make Dr. King the County’s official namesake. The County Council, acting on legislation sponsored by Council Chair Larry Gossett, decided to change the crown logo in February 2006, and the Council adopted the design of the new logo in a unanimous vote on March 12, 2007.
In the news
- One step closer to his dream, Seattle Times
- A first look at King County's new logo: the face of Martin Luther King Jr., Seattle Post Intelligencer
See answers to frequently asked questions about our new logo and the transition from the old logo in the FAQ section.