Jacksonville now has a new look, but maybe not in the way you might think.
Members of the City of Jacksonville along with the four main city-related organizations unveiled a new branding strategy aimed at aligning the five groups into a more streamlined identity for easy recognition both from within the city and for those beyond its limits.
Representatives from Jacksonville’s Area Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Regional Economic Development Corporation, and Main Street gathered with Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard at The Warehouse 200 event center to reveal the new unified logos to the public Wednesday night.
Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Brittany Henry says, having a unified brand for the city is something that had been discussed for years and during the Covid shutdown, city leaders decided now was the time to move on the idea.
“Having that unified front and that one image that speaks to Jacksonville is really important to us to showcase to visitors what a great place Jacksonville is to work, live, and visit. So this is going to be a great image for our branding as we continue to spread our message for Jacksonville. We’re super excited to start implementing it in all of our work.”
McDaniels Marketing of Pekin, Illinois is the firm that designed the new brand image. The new unified logo features the word “Jacksonville” predominately bordered by lines above and below, with a half circle rising above that the President of the firm Randy McDaniels says represents both Jacksonville’s past and future.
“It is pretty clean and contemporary but still has a font that kind of has a nod to history. I call the icon a kind of combination of the [Ferris] wheel and the sun which kind of represents a positive outlook with a nod to the past of Jacksonville.
It doesn’t go overboard on the Eli wheel, but at the same time, it does recognize that it’s a really famous element for Jacksonville. That way we kept the icon clean and simple so it works for Economic Development, the City, CVB, Main Street, and Chamber, equally without skewing to one audience or another.”
Each organization is represented by the logo yet the center of the wheel along with the I and L in Jacksonville are in a color that is specific to each entity.
President of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation, Kristin Jamison says it’s that little bit of uniqueness within the unified brand that shows Jacksonville is united in its continued growth and development.
“It really is a unified approach to on how we bring people to Jacksonville. Whether they are visiting and are tourists, or looking to possibly relocate here for work. It’s an exciting time to be thinking more progressively and thankfully we all share that same sentiment that this is the time to come together to make a difference and move Jacksonville forward.”
Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe says most people beyond Jacksonville are not as familiar with the assets and opportunities available here, and she thinks this combined effort helps to address that lack of awareness.
“I think it underscores the collaboration that we have in our community, and that’s really important, especially to people outside of our community. A lot of us, the locals, we know all of the great things that we have, but we have to sell it beyond our town. And that collaboration, that coordination, that unified approach to so many things that we do here is crucial. And this visually underscores that effort that we’ve been making for two decades.”
Lisa Musch, President of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce says her organization is extremely pleased to work with the other groups to work on an overall Jacksonville brand that has been discussed for several years.
“We just wanted a fresh messaging strategy for marketing the Jacksonville area and our new logo brand will allow us to do that and really share a concise and effective messaging about all our strengths that Jacksonville business and agriculture along with all of our quality of life amenities that are important for our residents and our visitors.
So we are just thrilled with the outcome and you know I love working with these girls, it’s great. We’re pleased to have the city involved and the backing of a lot of great people here tonight. We’re very excited to see the unveiling of our brand and that means a lot to us to have their support.”
Mayor Andy Ezard says while Jacksonville honors its past, it’s not stuck there and the unified brand gives the city an identity that it has needed for some time. Ezard says he’s proud of the collaborative effort that went into the new branding opportunity.
“It was a great working group, Randy was a great consultant to work with the leadership of Brittany [Henry], she wanted this and she got everybody onboard with it. Everything is going to take some time, it’s not a perfect process. But you know what, we needed to do this for the community.
We need an identity for the things we have going on, the progress we’re making, it just makes sense and the timing is perfect for something like the re-brand.”
Director of Community Development and Recreational Facilities, Brian Nyberg says city leaders want people outside of the community to see Jacksonville how they see it now, as a place loaded with history that is also looking ahead to the future.
Ezard told the large crowd gathered for the unveiling last night that he isn’t telling everyone at the Municipal Building to throw out the old stationery just yet, but in the coming days, you will start to see the new logo become the easily recognizable symbol for the City of Jacksonville.
Residents can already see the new brand logo on the various websites and social media pages for all five entities including the City of Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has also finalized a brand standards guide as well as a line of merchandise that features the new logo. The brand standards guide can be viewed online at jredc.org/about/jacksonville-brand-standards.