MONTICELLO — The new logo for the town of Monticello blends the old and the new in what the town’s consultants believe is an accurate reflection of the town.
Marketers hired to rebrand the look of the city took a crosshatched pattern from an aerial view of historic courthouse plaza, mixed it with several different colored boxes, and came up with a logo that they consider not only flexible, but unique.
The work, done by Champaign-based Clanin Marketing, after a multi-step process that included meetings with three focus groups, will be incorporated into city documents, business cards and possibly even vehicles and apparel.
“We’ve created the actual map of downtown Monticello into an eye-catching abstract representation of the community’s most noticeable and charming feature: the plaza,” said Scott Clanin, owner and president of the marketing firm.
After conducting its research, the company felt that a mix of historic with a modern twist would be appropriate. This sentiment also led to the suggested slogan, “Monticello: close to everything; Far from everyday life.
The logo – and tagline where there is space – will replace many of the logos that have sprung up between the town, the chamber of commerce and the main street of Monticello over the past decade.
“We have something like 19 active logos, and we wanted something more unified and updated,” said city director of community development Callie Jo McFarland. “We wanted to develop a uniform branding initiative for the city.”
Claning Marketing was hired in June of last year. The contract pays them $15,250 for city branding work and an additional $11,350 for Phase 2 for the chamber and Main Street organizations.
McFarland believes the Phase 1 results are unique and will also be reflected when the Champaign-based marketing firm expands the work to associated chamber and main street logos.
“How many communities have an “M” for a logo? How many communities have their school colors? said McFarland.
“We’re not against it – you’ll notice purple and a golden hue in there for a reason – but we’re Monticello, we’re not the school, we’re not Muhammad, we have our own place. It’s something very unique to us, and we can really call it ours,” McFarland said.
The logo is a tribute to a downtown dominated by the 1903 Piatt County Courthouse and surrounded by a business district that houses artisans, restaurants and other businesses.
“We have created an actual map of downtown Monticello in an eye-catching abstract representation of the most noticeable and charming feature of the community: the plaza,” Clanin told Monticello City Council on January 10.
“This was designed to identify the town of Monticello as a vibrant downtown open to residents and a destination for visitors.
Focus groups were asked what drew them to Monticello, what makes it unique, how they would describe it to visitors, what it represents, and the challenges they think the community faces.
Clanin said it’s clear citizens take pride in the historic nature of Monticello, prompting a logo that reflects this aerial view of downtown, which is a National Historic District.
City council members seemed pleased with the logo. Mary Vogt appreciated the explanation that preceded the reveal.
“I think it’s interesting how you took all the information from the different groups and then came up with this design. I loved the story behind it all,” Vogt said.
“I would like to thank the Clanin group,” said city administrator Terry Summers. “I participated in one of these focus groups, and there were people from a whole demographic range, and each came to the table with slightly different ideas, expertise and experience. You did a great job of making this an interactive session, getting people talking and sharing. »
Focus group results
Focus groups met to get feedback on the branding process. Their main responses included:
— “What makes Monticello unique compared to other communities of similar size? — sustainable, many attractions/destinations, hospital, churches, location, plaza, variety of shops/arts. Eli Field, the Monticello Railway Museum and the Monticello Family Aquatic Center were among those specifically listed.
— “How do you describe Monticello to the visitor? – safe, historic, friendly, great schools, caring/kind, in the middle of it all, inviting, has it all.
— “What do you think are the main monuments and attractions of Monticello? — the plaza, train/museum, Kirby Medical Center, parks/trails, Allerton Park, Polar Express, dog park, Eli Field.
— “What does Monticello represent? — friendliness, kindness, support, opportunity, history/legacy, pride, philanthropy.
— “What are the advantages of living here? — location, support, amenities, relationships, hospital, activities, outdoors.
— “What are the challenges of living here? — cost of housing, gastronomy, employees, small town (spirit), lack of diversity, negative people, lack of leisure (winter).
— “How does Monticello create value for residents and businesses? — free programs, city/chamber, schools, managed growth, leadership, beautification, specialty stores, traditions.
— “As a community, we are better at ____” — managed growth, urban planning, pride, mutual support, business encouragement, structure.
— “As a city, we could improve our ____” — walking paths, recreation, city entrance, building repairs, growth, communication.