Sign of the times: Windermere leaders seek to rebrand town
Town leaders are hoping to hone its branding with consistent logos and signage.
| 5:26 p.m. March 7, 2018
Windermere Town Council members discussed branding strategies, goals and potential design standards at the town’s Feb. 18 brand revitalization workshop.
Town Manager Robert Smith said the project to revitalize the town’s brand was initiated so the town could establish a consistent look for its logos, signs and correspondence as well as establish a consistent look for town employees’ uniforms and vehicles.
“It’s a hodgepodge, and it really doesn’t match,” Smith said. “When you come into town, you see this ‘Town of Windermere’ wooden sign, but then you see other signage that also has ‘Town of Windermere’ on it and nothing matches.”
Smith talked about the town’s crest to demonstrate an inconsistency with its brand.
“When you see the town crest on different things around town, it’s different,” Smith said. “The fish are different, sometimes it’s flipped; sometimes the colors aren’t the correct colors. I want to make sure, again, there’s a consistency throughout the town crest.”
The workshop was phase two of a six-phase process to revitalize the town’s brand and identity. The first phase was to establish the town’s current branding situation and demonstrate the need to revitalize its brand. The second meeting established the town’s direction regarding consistency.
“Nothing is set in stone,” Smith said. “Now the second step is to try to rein everything in — taking a look at the existing town logo, taking a look at the fonts you use, taking a look at the actual colors within the actual logo — and then (figuring out) how you want to formulate that into how you represent the town.”
Howard York, of YorkBranding, is the designer guiding the revitalization process. One of the goals is to convey the town’s character and appeal.
“How can we write down (and represent) what makes the town special?” York said. “We love the old, but we also want the new.”
One of the ideas discussed was possibly changing some of the quadrants of the town crest. Council member Molly Rose suggested putting in symbols to represent the town’s trees and lakes.
“It (could) be something to represent water on one side and trees on another,” Rose said.
Council member Jim O’Brien chimed in with his thoughts of the brand revitalization project.
“I know what makes a lot of sense and what works,” O’Brien said. “But there’s part of me that really wants to emphasize the town so we can set ourselves apart.”
Kathy Glasser is a marketing professional who spent a number of years working for Disney and has lived in Windermere for 30 years.
“It’s really critical to have a comprehensive understanding of how we feel about our town,” she said. “We’re going down the right road. I think it’s really important, especially in the long term with real estate and people wanting to be part of our town.”
Angela Withers has been living in Windermere for 18 years and said she was excited that the town was revitalizing its brand.
“The more we can come up with a common character and consistency and theme, the more people will understand what Windermere is,” she said.
The end goal is to create a catalog of design standards for how everything — from the town crest, signage and employee uniforms to correspondence and business cards — associated with the town should look.
“So whenever we need to order uniforms for our law-enforcement officers, we know it’s going to be in that catalog,” Smith said. “When we have to order uniforms for our public works people, it’s in this catalog. When we need to order new stationery for the town, it’ll already have everything laid out; same thing with business cards.”
Smith estimated the budget for the project was about $60,000 and said the money is coming from the town’s general revenues fund.
The next step of the process is to hold more workshops to figure out what direction the town and council members want to take. The project is expected to be completed by August, Smith said.
“The product that’s going to be the end result of this is something that, hopefully, the entire town can get behind,” Smith said.