Simon Says – Pick Up Your Dog Poop!

A common misconception is that dog waste acts as a natural fertilizer, meaning there is no reason to pick it up. However, dog waste is actually the complete opposite! It can destroy landscapes, transmit diseases to humans and animals, and not to mention, ruin somebody’s day if it is stepped in. And with an estimated 7,500 dogs living in downtown Kansas City, that’s a lot of dogs with a lot of waste.

In early 2019, the Downtown Council decided to upgrade the dog waste station signage in the Downtown and River Market area. However, they knew they needed to make a bigger change than just replacing them to encourage residents to actually use them! The Downtown Council teamed up with Sturges Word Communications to educate residents on the harms of leaving dog waste, as well as to encourage residents to use the new dog waste stations.

Do the Do - signage in the Downtown and River Market area
Do the Do - signage in the Downtown and River Market area - Before and after

Sturges Word re-designed then old dog waste station signage, replacing colors and stick figures with bright, whimsical images to increase visibility. Unlike the old beige signs, the new lime green signs can be seen by dog owners day and night, ensuring that they know where they can grab a bag and dispose of their dog’s waste. The design for the new signs was inspired after a Downtown Council staffer’s late pug, Simon, creating a clever play on words: Simon says, pick up your dog poop! The stations were also updated to include a phone number so residents could contact the Downtown Council when stations needed servicing.

The updated signage coincided with digital and print outreach, creating a cohesive “Simon Says” campaign that encouraged Kansas City residents to “Do the Doo” and pick up after their dogs. The flyers, also designed by SWC, shared four reasons why owners should pick up after their dogs and were mailed & emailed to Property Owners across the Downtown & River Market area.

The new waste stations debuted in December 2019, and with them, came a cleaner Kansas City!

signage in the Downtown and River Market area