Note: This post is an elaboration on the Branding & Marketing Action Team Report that was delivered in the April 11, 2017 Kick Start Lonoke Public Meeting. More meeting details may be found at this link:
During the April 11 Public Meeting held at Gateway Fellowship Church, Branding & Marketing Action Team Co-Chair Terrance Clark of Thrive Center, summarized the last six months of work by Thrive’s team of graphic designers and marketers.
In November 2016, the City of Lonoke hired Thrive Center to undertake a long-term process of creating elements for a branding and marketing campaign. The first step of this work was to coordinate with the Kick Start Lonoke initiative in a series of community workshops in order to design new visual elements, including a logo and tagline, to support the community brand.
This first element was developed by Thrive’s team of graphic designers and marketers through a multi-month process that involved numerous public meetings, the cooperation of over fifteen local citizen volunteers from Lonoke, and the approval of the Lonoke Industrial Development Commission. In order to prepare this first deliverable for inclusion in the Kick Start Lonoke Strategic Action Plan document, Thrive was requested to create these elements according to a series of deadlines, all of which have been met, in order that the document’s publication and printing target dates may be satisfied.
During the April meeting, Clark presented the team’s research, which informed the composition of a “Creative Brief” document that includes an overview of the design team’s work, the goals of the brand system, and language explaining the “Brand Promise.”
The brand system goals include “reaffirming positive perceptions of Lonoke held by existing residents and businesses, boosting overall community pride, and attracting and retaining new families and businesses, establishing Lonoke as a potential home for creatives of all kinds to ‘make their mark’.”
With those goals stated, Clark revealed a monochrome version of the team’s logo design, which includes a new ‘Lonoke’ wordmark in a custom script font wrapped in a circular frame. A stylized silhouette of the Lonoke County Courthouse crowns the wordmark, which is arranged over a dynamic wave form and the silhouette of fish signifying the ponds and aquaculture elements unique to the community. A new tagline arches above the logo, the result of many weeks of intense workshops and wordsmithing by the design team with the input of volunteer Action Team members.
The team composed the slogan “Cultivating Community” as a forward-thinking reference to the rich soils of culture, creativity, and industry that generate growth and harvest.
The metaphor of cultivation in the form of a verb implies ongoing work and process that is attractive to young families and creative individuals, while honoring the proud rural heritage of hard work done by the area’s agriculture and aquaculture industry season after season.
By pairing the idea of “cultivation” with “community,” the marketing team captured the spirit of hard work and continued attention necessary to sustain and fulfill the vision of a visible, attractive, and connected Lonoke.
Attendees of the April 11 meeting were reminded that the creative process which generated the design has garnered unanimous support from both the volunteer-led Branding & Marketing Action Team and the City-appointed LIDC and represents a consensus from a broad sample of community members.
The Action Team requested that attendees be vocal in their support of the work, as the tagline and logo, which will ultimately include a color version, is introduced broadly in the coming months as part of the continuing marketing campaign.
The Branding & Marketing Action Team will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, April 25 at 5:30pm.