Last month, Placer County announced a branding initiative designed to create a consistent, unified look of county products and presentations. The Board of Supervisors heard a joint presentation from the county’s offices of economic development and communications and public affairs, publicly launching an effort that has been in the works for a couple of years.
The economic development office began working with a team of county staff members nearly two years ago to create a logo that would represent the people and places of Placer County for economic development and tourism purposes.
“This initiative provides a springboard to enable us to differentiate Placer County from other markets and stand out from the competition,” said Dave Snyder, director of economic development. “It also captures and engenders a sense of pride among our fellow employees and all those who live, work and play in Placer County.”
After months of focus group testing with county employees, the branding team then developed a variation of the original logo to represent the county government.
“I’m optimistic that this initiative will do wonders for helping us present a consistent, unified image to our residents and help them to more clearly understand all the extraordinary services provided by the hard-working employees of Placer County,” said David Boesch, county executive officer.
The branding team created branded templates for PowerPoint presentations, business cards, brochures, letters, fact sheets and other commonly used products.
“The biggest benefit of this initiative is likely going to be the clarity that the public will have about the many wonderful county services and programs we offer,” said DeDe Cordell, director of communications and public affairs. “When you look at a building, business card, vehicle, name tag or even a t-shirt that has a government seal on it, it’s hard to tell without looking very closely just which government agency it represents. With a logo, it becomes much easier for people to make that connection.”
Where many government agencies have spent tens of thousands of dollars to launch a branding initiative of this nature, Placer County’s branding work was done completely in-house, by county staff who worked it in with their regular workload. Staff also expects this to be a cost savings for the county over time, because employees will spend less time designing products and presentations from scratch, and instead can use the templates. The county will also be able to order materials in bulk, since they will be standardized.
To minimize waste, county employees were advised to use up all existing stock of products like brochures and business cards, and begin to use the new templates only when they would have otherwise needed to order more.
“The logo is just a symbol – a visual representation of the Placer brand,” Boesch told employees in a county-wide email last month. “It is the employees we have and services we provide that make the Placer brand special and amazing.”