5 New U.S. City Logos (And What They Mean)

by Nate Birt 4 months ago Filed Under: Design

We often think of the U.S. as a melting pot—a place that’s home to people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. But to really get an up-close look at the diversity that comprises this great land, there’s no better place to turn than its more than 35,000 cities and towns.

From a visual perspective, logos are among the best reflections of that uniqueness. They embody the landmarks, the history and the hometown pride that a community holds. Out of curiosity, we pulled together a list of nine cities whose logos recently received a makeover.

As you read, keep the qualities of a good logo in mind: A recent Inc. post identified three key features for business logos, and we suspect city logos should probably have them, too. That means a logo must be unique (i.e. not necessarily a literal reflection of the services or products a company provides), adaptable (i.e. workable at up to 1” with detail intact) and appropriate (i.e. tone and colors fit the desired audience).

 

Avondale, AZ

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Credit: City of Avondale; City of Avondale via AZCentral.com

In the desert Southwest, the city of Avondale spent $90,000 in unused money from the previous year’s budget to develop its new logo, The Arizona Republic reports. The lowercase “A” comes with the tagline “Avondale: Aspiring, Achieving, Accelerating” and interchangeable background colors of blue, orange, green and purple.

“In Avondale there is strong belief that the blending of cultures comes from a true sense of harmony throughout the community, not mere rhetoric about diversity,” Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers told the news organization in describing the logo. “In Avondale, people and businesses are welcomed with open arms and supported in a way that exemplifies a progressive, intelligent and driven city.”

Our verdict:


  • Unique: B

  • Adaptable: A
  • 
Appropriate: A

 

Plymouth, IN

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Credit: City of Plymouth via InsideIndianaBusiness.com

To launch its new logo, the city of Plymouth, Ind., held a kickoff celebration featuring the opening of a $3 million park, Inside Indiana Business reports.

“The tagline ‘Where community and possibility connect’ says a lot,” Mayor Mark Senter said in describing the new logo, which required five months of planning. “From the people gathered today at this park, to the possibilities of the Metronet fiber-optic communications project, we now have under construction, great things are coming together in Plymouth.”

Our verdict:


  • Unique: B

  • Adaptable: A
  • 
Appropriate: A

 

Willis, TX

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Credit: City of Willis via YourHoustonNews.com

A rich history with the Great Northern Railroad informed Willis’ new logo, writes The Courier of Montgomery County. Previously, the city logo displayed the Texas flag, an outline of the state in place of its star and the phrase “City of Willis est. 1870”.

The logo comes with mix City Council reviews – one member says it routinely gets compliments, while at least one person isn’t so sure.

“What we see in front of us,” Councilwoman Anna F. Ross told The Courier, “is very dull and unassuming.”

Our verdict:


  • Unique: A

  • Adaptable: B
  • 
Appropriate: A

 

Clinton, MS

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Credit: Clinton Police Department; City of Clinton via WJTV News Channel 12

With the new slogan “You belong here”, Clinton’s updated logo is hard to top in its simplicity. The logo features a black background, the aforementioned tagline and a half-moon motif above Clinton, WJTV News Channel 12 reports. Its previous logo bore that motif as well as the words history, pride and progress.

What makes the city stand out, though, is the branding campaign it launched alongside the new look, complete with music video.

“Our brand is more than a mark, tagline or logo, it is the sum of all its parts. It is our promise,” the city notes on its website. “What belongs here? Business, Family, Friends, Learning, Home? Most importantly ‘You Belong Here.’ You are what makes Clinton a great place to belong.”

Our verdict:


  • Unique: B
  • Adaptable: A
  • 
Appropriate: A

 

Clermont, FL

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Credit: City of Clermont; City of Clermont via OrlandoSentinel.com

The winning attributes of residents and Olympians-in-training informed logo design in Clermont, Fla., the Orlando Sentinel reports. The city includes facilities where Olympic athletes train, so the intertwined “C” shape honors that heritage and also applies the “Choice of Champions” moniker to all residents.

“A brand is not a logo or advertising, it’s about making a promise,” Margaret Wilesmith, president of West Palm Beach-based Wilesmith Advertising & Design, told the Sentinel. “What is the promise that Clermont is going to make? Customers have choices — people who are buying houses don’t have to come here, they don’t have to open businesses here, but that’s why there has to be a trust in your brand.”

Our verdict:


  • Unique: A
  • Adaptable: B
  • 
Appropriate: A

 
Clearly, each city in America comes intact with incredible stories, memories—and people. Although logos are a form of branding, and therefore subject to scrutiny, this selection of new logos shows that communities can draw on a host of attributes, from a welcoming atmosphere to a rich historical legacy, to introduce themselves to the world.