Skift Take

Somehow the either-or seems a bit too radical, surely there is a compromise logo which merges some elements of both?

The town of Culpeper (in Virginia) is pondering a more modern apolitical brand, and perhaps a new location for its largest street festival.

At its meeting Tuesday, Culpeper Town Council voted to further consider at the committee level using the logo developed by the Culpeper Tourism Department for use on unofficial documents, town vehicles and signs and other items.

The proposed logo prominently features the town’s name and year of founding (1759) with a backdrop outline of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If approved, the logo would replace an older insignia with smaller text and the Culpeper Minuteman flag proclaiming, “Don’t Tread on Me.”

According to a staff report, the Minuteman flag, also known as the Gadsen Flag, “has unfortunately been hijacked in recent years by a political movement, the Tea Party, and it was assumed the town would prefer a positive, nonpolitical identity.” In developing the tourism logo, according to staff, “We wanted to incorporate the flag element, but not recall the ‘snake in the grass’ or Tea Party element.”

Culpeper Tourism Director Lori Sorrentino told town council Tuesday that the new logo, used by her department to market the town, could also offer a more uniform feel representing current day Culpeper.

“It makes sense the town would benefit from using a similar logo,” Sorrentino said.

Culpeper Town Manager Kim Alexander, absent from Tuesday’s meeting, previously approved the change of logos, but town council wanted to weigh in on the idea first and so it sent the matter back to committee.

“It doesn’t say Virginia on it,” said Town Councilman Billy Yowell of the tourism logo.

Sorrentino said the state’s name could be added to the logo for use by the town.

“I suggest we send it back to committee for more work,” said Town Councilman Dan Boring at Tuesday’s meeting.

Town Councilman Dave Lochridge was more supportive of the change in logo recommended by town administration.

“It’s rather obvious that the new logo creates instant public recognition,” he said.

But Town Councilman Jim Risner said the ultimate decision of adopting a new logo for use town-wide is “more than just the manager saying it looks good — because it represents the whole town.”

Yowell didn’t seem to like the tourism logo at all, or what it replaced.

“I think we are building over our history rather than on our history,” he said.

The matter goes back to the planning and community development committee for further consideration.

(c)2012 the Culpeper Star-Exponent (Culpeper, Va.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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Tags: branding, virginia

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