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Originally published December 16, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Page modified August 10, 2009 at 2:16 PM

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The P-I's globe will keep on spinning

The print paper may be history, but the iconic neon symbol will stay perched right where it is.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle P-I:
Farewell to the P-I

Inside the pressroom as the final edition is printed

Reactions from P-I staff, publisher

Managing Editor David McCumber, Publisher Roger Oglesby, and staff comment on Hearst's announcement.

Oglesby:
"Tonight, we'll be putting the paper to bed for the last time."

The print edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is out of business, but its 30-foot, neon-lit rooftop globe will keep rotating.

One of the Pacific Northwest's best-known marketing symbols is still ablaze in the night sky with its ultrabright neon lights and red letters proclaiming "It's in the P-I."

Once management knew the P-I was going online, keeping the globe "just made sense," said Publisher Roger Oglesby.

Presumably, as long as seattlepi.com is around, so will the globe.

What better branding?

"The globe is a shorthand, visual icon of the paper," said Pat Doody, president of WongDoody, a top advertising agency with offices in Seattle and Los Angeles. "However valuable the Seattle P-I is as a brand, that logo is inextricably linked to it."

The 18.5-ton globe was hoisted atop the P-I's former headquarters at Sixth Avenue and Wall Street on Nov. 9, 1948. The designer was a University of Washington art student named Jakk Corsaw, who beat out 350 other entrants in a contest.

The design hearkens back to logos with globes used by Universal Studios and RKO Radio Pictures.

"It's the most magnificent neon that's been in this area," said Jay Blazek, president of Western Neon in Seattle. He said that because the globe's glass tubing is colored (instead of clear, which is cheaper), "What you get is this incredibly rich ruby, this rich dark cobalt blue. It's awesome."

As of Monday, an online petition had more than 1,100 names to save the globe. That's no longer an immediate worry. Still, the globe's many admirers are ready.

"I want to live in it," Blazek said, half-jokingly. "I could spend my time in it as the quirky old man."

Erik Lacitis: 206-464-2237 or elacitis@seattletimes.com

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