The Small Town USA Brand

By Mash Bonigala

What is your town’s logo design? If you don’t know, or if your town simply doesn’t have one, this may be changing soon. Although we are used to larger cities having logo designs and brands, this trend is spreading to smaller cities as well. The latest example is Beaverton, Oregon, a city that is ditching the beaver image for a bright, modern brand that will appeal to potential visitors and residents.

The old Beaverton logo was almost twenty years old and functioned as the city’s official seal as well as a logo. It featured the image of a beaver in the Oregon wilderness, centered in a circle. In woodsy green, the image was relevant to rural Oregon, but not so much to the bustling small city of Beaverton.

The new logo is sleek and modern, with an abstract feeling that enables viewers to read multiple meanings into it. The city name written in a modern font sits beside a logo image made up of bold strokes of color. This image is based on the ceiling of the recently remodeled city library’s ceiling, but locals also interpret it as trees, wild grasses, or a fountain. Others have claimed that it represents diversity or even celebration. Clearly this logo design means many things to just as many people.

The most notable part of this change is the tag line. Beaverton is now claiming in their logo design to offer “the best of Oregon.” Officials and residents defended this claim by pointing to the city’s ranking as one of the safest cities in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the excellent schools and overall high standard of living in the area.

A local branding company developed the logo design after interviews, focus groups, and even an online survey of residents. Although the total cost for the rebranding and logo design will cost over $25,000, this includes a complete revamping of the city website as well as the new stationery and signage that will be necessary. However, local officials feel that it is money well spent. The new logo design and brand will attract money from new businesses and higher numbers of tourists while also promoting pride in the community among existing residents. While many residents questioned whether more immediate concerns such as foreclosures and local deficits, other cities have found that an effective new logo design and brand more than pays for itself, even in our difficult economic times.

This logo design represents a change for the city because it does not include a beaver, as most of the previous logos have. However, residents in focus groups felt that this was an inappropriate image for the city brand despite its obvious presence in the name. Those who miss the woodland creature will be happy to know that the beaver will still be present in the formal Beaverton seal, which will be used on official documents.

If your business is in a slump, a new logo design may be just the pick-me-up that you need. Talk to a logo designer today about how you can turn around your company by rebranding.