Branding a Village: Identity Beyond Logos : Reader Q&A

A reader writes "Would love to have your thoughts on our new village logo." Attached to the message, I found a file with over 30 different logo options. Do you have a question you'd like to ask? Leave your reply in the comment box.

Answer:
Branding a village – ah yes – a project we’ve contributed to before. Make that “Branding a village as a shopping district.”

And therein lies my first question back to my reader: What – within the village – are you branding, specifically?

If you’re like most villages, you have government, departments, corporations and more towns/districts within your town.

Branding a Village Projects – Taking the Identity Beyond Logos

One thing you can be sure of – everyone will have an opinion. Unless, you make your identity so bland that no one will notice. In the project I referenced above, the key decision makers were village business people. People that had a vision of what their village should look like to the world. Ten concepts got presented. The final look blended a few together. An artist drew up people and backdrops to illustrate a feeling. Words conveyed a mood.

To be successful, you need to sustain a brand campaign. It’s not just about imagery, it’s about extending the experience beyond the graphic identity. But, since we got started talking about logos, here are some . . .

Identity Branding Guidelines We Give Our Clients

  • Branding – anything – is not one size fits all. But, for villages sometimes you need to come up with a look that works for lots of people, departments and purposes.
  • Make sure whatever you go with looks good in one color and in black - if you'll be using for print
  • Consider using the name, in this case the village, as an anchor with no add-on graphics if the brand will be used for more than one department – think HOLLYWOOD
  • Change out for taglines for village, police, parks, etc.
  • Make sure you get a design guide with standards and CDs you can give to departments and vendors [like printers] who will be using the image
  • Ask the designer to narrow concepts down to their top three. Why do they like the ones they do? What’s the story behind the concept?

and a few . . .

Questions for a Village Government Branding Committee

Why are we doing this?

What do we want to be known for?

Who is our competition? What do they look like?

Who do we want to look like?

How will it look on the water towers and residential trash cans? - consider all the out there, yet common, places where municipal logos end up

Is the village government’s branding campaign a good use of taxpayer’s money?

Have we considered the cost savings from consolidating government branch branding into one common government branded typeface?

What are our plans for village [or federal] government branding 2.0?

How will we get buy in and comments from residents, business owners and community groups?

What do you think?

How do you think logos tie into public relations?

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