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Originally published October 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM | Page modified October 23, 2012 at 3:50 PM

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Space Needle to don an evergreen coat

The winning design that will grace the top of the Space Needle for the next six months depicts evergreen trees.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Say goodbye to Galaxy Gold. The city's most famous landmark will soon be paying homage to evergreen trees.

Seattle graphic designer Nicole Commins had the winning entry for the new design that will grace the top of the Space Needle for the next six months.

The artwork depicts treetops of light and lighter green against a dark green background radiating toward the central spire.

Commins, a 29-year-old Edmonds native, described her inspiration "as if you were standing in the middle of one of Washington's state parks, looking up to the tree tops."

The design beat out five other finalists that included playful fish in a dark-blue sea, a Native-American design called "Seattle Roots," and a striped pattern that would have turned the top of the Needle into an open umbrella.

"Trees" was the favorite among more than 100,000 online votes cast over the past month in a contest sponsored by the Space Needle.

The Needle's current retro-orange rooftop — the Space Needle's original color — was to commemorate this year's 50th anniversary of the 1962 World's Fair. With that celebration ending Sunday, the Space Needle management wanted a new design leading up to the Needle's 51st birthday in April.

To publicize the campaign, the Space Needle painted #TOPTHIS on the roof and invited design submissions in August and public voting that ran from Sept. 28 to Saturday.

Last-minute campaigning was fierce, with artists, their friends and family urging votes for their favorite designs on news-outlet Web pages and in social media.

Commins couldn't be reached for comment Monday, but her mother, Lois Commins, of Edmonds, said family members have been busy telling everyone they know about the contest.

"We had votes coming in from Ireland. We knew people who knew people in Texas, in Canada," she said.

In the end, " 'Trees' was way ahead of everyone else," said Dan McConnell, a public-relations strategist who helped the Space Needle managers run the contest.

He said the new design will be painted on as soon as weather permits.

Lynn Thompson: 206-464-8305 or lthompson@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @lthompsontimes.

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