A 400 year anniversary is quite an accomplishment for any type of organization, and the city of Plymouth certainly doesn’t intend to ignore theirs. The company is beginning their anniversary festivities with a new logo that represents the former colony’s long and notable history while subtly acknowledging the role that Native Americans had in the colony’s survival.
The Plymouth logo design honors the two figures most prominently seen in folk tales surrounding this area: the Mayflower and Native Americans. In this case, the Native American appears to be walking or standing ahead of the ship, as though leading it. This represents the presence and benevolence of the Native Americans in the area, who according to records were responsible for the survival of the settlers who arrived there. Not only did the Native Americans aid the colonists with food and assistance in building shelters as the harsh New England winter quickly approached, they later showed the settlers how and what to farm in the area’s challenging soil and weather conditions. It is unlikely that the colony would have been successful without this assistance, so the inclusion of a Native American figure was not just politically correct but almost mandatory.
Color has also been used to invoke a sense of history. This logo is drawn in a peaceful serene blue that, like the image, represents an idealized image of the arrival while also referring to the Atlantic Ocean that has had such an effect on the area. Beneath, the words ‘Plymouth 400’ are written in black serif-heavy letters above the smaller and italicized name of the state. The city obviously was trying to achieve a traditional image and seems to have met this goal.
Most important perhaps, this anniversary logo image walks a fine line in showing that the four hundred years anniversary refers to European inhabitants, while the Native Americans were already present and in fact instrumental in the survival of the colony. It is very significant that the logo design shows the Native American in front of the ship, and this was almost certainly done on purpose. This shows that it is possible for professional logo designers to subtly show different aspects of a company without being obvious or “in your face” about it. In fact, this often leads to the most meaningful and attractive designs.
Many cities in the United States and all over the world are adopting city landmark logo designs and corporate brand identities as a type of ‘destination branding’. This gives people a good reason to visit these areas while also creating more area pride among inhabitants and visitors. While few have this type of notable history, most regions have some sort of unique aspect that can become a unique part of their brand and logo design. The most important thing about these types of logos is that they portray the city in a unique, attractive, and positive way. The Plymouth 400 logo design certainly seems to have met this calling.