The Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA) has a brand new logo: a split, green, two-level image of the word “Greensboro” on the left, with a blue, likewise split, “High Point” on the right, with the phrase “you can make it here” underneath.
The logo – which will be used to “brand” the Greensboro-High Point area for business recruitment and other purposes – will see widespread use on documents, images, slideshows and ad campaigns promoting the Greensboro-High Point area as a place to do business.
The design team at Greensboro-based marketing firm Bouvier Kelly and the members of the Leadership Group of GCEDA have been going back and forth in the design phase of the logo for the last several months.
Earlier this year, GCEDA approved the project to create the logo, along with related marketing services, for a projected a cost of $32,000 to $41,500.
GCEDA met on Thursday, April 27 at the Cameron Campus of Guilford Technical Community College in Colfax and voted to approve the new logo. About a month earlier, the group had seen and discussed the three top designs.
At the April 27 meeting, members of the group sounded like an Apple products design team as they talked about the last very fine details in an attempt to tweak the logo. There was also a discussion on whether the phrase “you can make it here” should be in caps or in lowercase, and it was decided that the lowercase version was more welcoming.
The colors were also a focus of discussion at the meeting. One version of a similar logo with more muted colors was labeled as more “elegant;” however, the economic development officials liked the fact that the brighter colors “popped” more.
Early in the process, there were many much more abstract options for the logo; however, those got the axe early in the process. The group wanted something that clearly stated the two city names in the logo.
The yellow strip in the middle is ambiguous and is meant to be. It can be a highway (supply chain and logistics) or a runway (aviation) or even a speedometer needle noting a high speed (a fast-moving community). In earlier versions, that strip was smaller and more green and some people even thought it was a blade of grass. One of the changes in the final version was making that bigger and more pronounced.
Bouvier Kelly was one of six marketing groups that applied to take on the project after GCEDA sent out a request for proposals earlier this year. Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen, who oversaw the selection process, said at that time that the firm had risen to the top.
April Hamilton, an account manager with the Bouvier Kelly, and Philip Yeary, creative director, were at the April 27 meeting and briefly discussed the thinking behind the logo. They have spoken to GCEDA several times during the process.
Bouvier Kelly has created branding and logos for the City of Burlington, the Dan River State Crossings area – an eight county area on the North Carolina/Virginia border – and other nearby communities.
Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips told the Rhino Times several weeks ago that he thinks it will be lower tax rates, good government and a strong economic recruitment effort that will matter more in the end than the logo used to designate the area. But he said he is glad the group has completed this step in the branding process.
Phillips seemed to prefer the more muted, “elegant” version at the meeting, but the brighter version of the logo was by far the overwhelming choice.
The three local governments – Greensboro, High Point and Guilford County – each contributed one-third of the funding when they joined to form GCEDA, but it’s worth nothing that, while Guilford County is an equal partner in the organization, the new logo doesn’t mention the county. Guilford County will, however, be able to collect property taxes on new development in Greensboro or High Point if the economic development campaign is successful.