The design of the District's new logo was incorrectly credited yesterday. It was designed by Lloyd Greenberg and illustrated by Ger Quinn, both of Studio Group in Northwest. (Published 7/18/90)

It almost was "Star-Spangled City." It might have been "A City of Statues But No Limitations." Someone suggested "Washington: Don't Believe the Hype." Then there was "Washington: It's No Crime."

The public submitted all of the suggestions. But in the end, they and 5,000 others were losers to this, the District of Columbia's new and official and long slogan, right down to the dash and the exclamation point:

"Celebrate the city -- discover the world!"

With their city's mayor on trial and its homicide rate nationally infamous, tourism officials sought yesterday to buff the District's image by burying "A Capital City" as its slogan and unveiling plans for the 200th anniversary next year of the city's founding.

Heralded by fifes and drums in the ballroom of the National Press Club, the District got a new song to go with its new slogan; a new set of tourism logos; a new promotional video; and a schedule of bicentennial concerts, plays and films that builds to Sept. 8, the date the city got its name in 1791.

And, yes, there will be new license plates. As car tags come up for renewal, they will be replaced by ones with the same colors but bearing the new slogan, or at least a shortened version. "Celebrate & Discover" will go across the top and "Washington, D.C." across the bottom.

The new campaign was not timed to offset the impact of the trial of Mayor Marion Barry, officials said. Instead, they picked yesterday because it marked 200 years to the day that the Residence Act pinpointed the area as the future national capital, they said.

But several officials acknowledged that the District's reputation has been buffetted by Barry's trial on 14 drug-related charges and by the city's unchecked homicide rate. Tourism at the national monuments was down 17 percent last year, and industry experts have blamed tourists' concerns about violence for at least part of the downturn.

"I think we definitely need the new image," said Dan Mobley, executive vice president of the Washngton, D.C., Convention and Visitors Association, which sponsored the program yesterday along with the D.C. Bicentennial Commission and the D.C. Committee to Promote Washington.

"The negative publicity that was heaped upon this city . . . has definitely hurt," he said. "And we need to do everything we can in order to build the image back up, both nationally and internationally."

Teri Y. Doke, chairwoman of the Bicentennial Commission and secretary of the District, said the juxtaposition of the trial and the new campaign, while not planned, was "providential."

Barry was not present for the 10 a.m. announcement of the tourism campaign, though other city officials were, including D.C. Council Chairman David A. Clarke (D) and council members Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) and Hilda H.M. Mason (Statehood-At Large). The mayor was not invited because organizers assumed he would be at his trial, said Deirdre Daly, director of the Committee to Promote Washington.

The trial was in recess yesterday, but Barry chose to attend a youth program instead of the bicentennial announcement because "the mayor has always held young people in special regard," said his press secretary, Lurma Rackley.

Underscoring their desire to earn what a fact sheet called "favorable press coverage that will positively affect tourism levels," industry officials will travel to New York City today to pitch their new slogan and the bicentennial to travel writers. They will also visit Paris, London and Frankfurt next year, Mobley said.

They will be using a slogan that was among more than 5,000 submitted as part of a contest to replace the seven-year-old "Washington Is a Capital City" slogan, which officials said had grown tired.

The winner was not submitted by a District resident. Richard M. McWalters, of Sterling, technical director of the museum of the National Geographic Society, said he massaged the idea while riding Metro to work, eventually settling on a phrase he hopes will offset the city's "bad rap." For his efforts, McWalters, 34, and his wife will get an all-expenses-paid weekend on the town.

He won, said Tom Collier of the Committee to Promote Washington, because the 35 contest judges wanted a slogan that could be easily translated into foreign languages, which ruled out puns; that did not use the word "capital," because the old slogan used it; and that conveyed the idea that the District was more than just the federal capital.

Collier said "Celebrate the city -- discover the world!" beat two other finalists that were variations of the winner written by the judges. It got 14 of the 20 final votes.

"It gives the nuance that while Washington is the capital, it's also going to be the center of the world," Wanda Austin, director for marketing of the D.C. Downtown Partnership, said of the winner.

The new song, written by Noble L. Jolley of Jolley Mass Media Music Inc., is short and quick-paced and includes these lyrics:

Come and enter an adventure

With surprises and delights.

Daytime shops and sights to see

Entertainment in the night!