Sunday, February 14, 2010

Set in Stone

Reidsville, North Carolina has recently taken there new brand identity to the streets, literally. This logo has been placed into the intersection in their downtown. Great job!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Perfectly Seasoned.

Tripp and I spent the week in Louisiana this week, and had a great time creating a branding system for Opelousas, Louisiana. The home of Tony Chachere and the Savoies, and the world capital of Zydeco, this town had a lot of great people and stories to share. Here is what the daily world had to say about the process!

Opelousas may soon have a sharper image and a new slogan thanks to a branding effort by the city's tourism office.

Arnett & Muldrow, a community branding company that is working with the city on its image campaign, presented its findings during a community meeting this week and most came away impressed.

While the company has suggested a number of ideas to help promote the city, its suggested slogan — perfectly seasoned — was the biggest hit.

"This is exceptional. That tagline is not trendy but very progressive. It can be applied to everything from perfectly seasoned education to perfectly seasoned food," said Opelousas City Court Administrator LaVonya Malveaux.

"You have done it again. This really reflects this area," said Parish Tourism Director Celeste Gomez, who has worked with the company previously on its efforts to promote the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, of which Opelousas is a part.

Ben Muldrow with the company said the slogan was designed to work on multiple levels, with perfectly seasoned standing for everything from the area's 300-year history to its blending of cultures.

"The very way you live life is a blending," Muldrow said.

"You are a unique community within a unique region. You need something that is not overly trendy but authentic," said his partner and brother Tripp Muldrow.

About the only concern raised at the meeting was with the various symbols — a fiddle, fleur de lis, spice shaker and the courthouse square clock — the group chose to represent the area.

The audience, pointing out the clock is a relatively new addition, instead suggested replacing it with an accordion to represent the diversity of local musical traditions. The brothers said that should not be a problem.

More than just images, the brothers also recommended the use of a seven-color palette of primarily reds, orange, browns and greens. The orange is for the city's high school team, the reds and browns for its spices and the greens to represent the still largely rural nature of the parish.

They said these colors and the recommended flowing type style can be used for everything from T-shirts and logos to directional signage.

The distinctive type style could also be used to carry the city's image forward for everything from the Spice and Music Festival to the city museum and court.

According to Tripp Muldrow, one of the major objectives of a branding initiative is to build community pride around an agreed upon set of images and phrases and then use those to project that pride to potential investors, visitors and businesses.

"A city must have a unified, professional image if it wants to build local businesses and attract others," he said.

Therefore, the brothers said the colors, type and designs should be available to the public at no charge and could easily be incorporated by other local festivals and groups, from the Yambilee to local merchants.

"You want a consistent image for Opelousas. Many different images are currently being used depending on the group. You want something that belongs to you, something that says Opelousas," Tripp Muldrow said.

They also offered a number of suggestions for other changes, such as to the city's Web site, which they recommended splitting in half.

Pressing one button would direct visitors to local attractions, while pressing the other would direct residents to news and information.

"Visitors don't really care about local water rates," Ben Muldrow said.

They also recommended ways the images and type could be used on billboards and directional signage.

The brothers said they don't normally recommend billboards, but as the community is at the junction of two major highways, in this area it makes sense.

The brothers, who are being paid through a Certified Local Government Grant administered through the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation Office, will now prepare a 12-page style guide for the city incorporating the ideas.

"It will tell you how to use these elements. It will also tell you what not to do," Tripp Muldrow said.

They will also incorporate the information and designs into a DVD that the city can supply to printers, festival promoters and others who want to use them.

Tourism Director Melanie Lee, who helped arrange numerous meetings for the brothers with the public and interest groups, said it was a great experience.

"We had a really intense, but productive week," Lee said. "We heard so many wonderful ideas from the citizens of Opelousas."

Lee said the city is applying for another grant to help implement the various ideas.

"It will hopefully get us the funds we need to provide the planning and implementation of way-finding signage to point out some of our historic assets," Lee said.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It starts with TR!

After a beautiful streetscape was completed in downtown Travelers Rest, South Carolina it was great to see some of our designs begin to take shape. They have put up the banners that we designed, and the logo even appears on the dedication plaque for the project. Traction, it starts with TR!

Laurel, Mississippi- Getting the word out

It is always great to celebrate successes with our communities. Laurel, Mississippi has successfully launched their new organization identity, and have new shirts for memebers!!
Here what they have to say about it:

"Making It Happen" T-shirts for sale
$15 | $12 for members
A limited number of Main Street t-shirts are available for purchase at the Laurel Main Street office, 409 Oak Street, suite 204. Shown here on Bill Holloway, Main Street board member and owner of Holloway Home Designs.
The back reads "I am making it happen."
Join the movement of downtown revitalization and wear yours today!
To reserve your size, email!

GREAT JOB JACKIE and all the folks in Laurel making it happen!