Painesville Launches New Brand Celebrating City’s History & Diversity

On Tuesday, January 8 the City of Painesville revealed its new brand and logo to residents and the business community. Over the past six months, the city has been planning and preparing for a rebranding project to help enhance community communications and hone in on the positive attributes of the city.   


“We asked our residents, ‘what makes us different’ and we had a tremendous response. This new brand really reflects that shared language and identity that celebrates why we all love living and working in Painesville,” says Kathleen Sullivan, communications coordinator and project lead. “The new brand will help us communicate more effectively, stir a sense of pride, and also hopefully attract new residents, visitors and businesses who share our values. Most importantly, it reflects who we are as a community right now.”


Spearheaded by city administration in collaboration with Guide Studio of Cleveland, the rebranding campaign began in June 2018 and was completed in December 2018 after the development of a comprehensive communication strategy, key messaging and a new look and logo for the city.


The campaign was developed based on the input of a broad cross-section of the community, including residents, business owners and representatives from different Painesville institutions. In total, Guide Studio and the city conducted two focus groups with a total of 46 participants and distributed an online survey via social media and the city website that generated 609 responses, giving the project strong research results.


“The most notable conclusion from the research was the overwhelming sense of pride Painesville people have for this community,” says Sullivan. “They want to see this city thrive and grow. They are proud of the history but also proud of the diversity and culture.”


The new brand logo is a nod to Painesville’s strong industrial roots with a vintage look and feel that together represent the city’s charming square, historic architecture and heritage. The primary color for the logo is dark green, in reference to Painesville’s previous logo and representative of the many parks throughout and around the city. The badge city hall logo also continues to champion the iconic city hall dome, yet the new logo now offers a contemporary perspective that is complemented with a more vibrant color palette that echoes the community’s vibrancy and diversity.


 “Painesville has a lot of history and character. They deserve a brand that tells their story in a way that is as interesting as they are,” says Caroline Chaikin, Communications Director at Guide Studio. “We enjoyed the challenge of balancing the city’s eclectic attributes so that each could be easily understood and appreciated.”

The new brand was presented and approved by city council in early December, with city administration waiting until the 2019 new year to roll out the campaign’s key digital and print visuals. Signage, vehicles and other communication tools with the previous city logo will not be immediately replaced. Instead, administration will slowly invest in the switch over to the new logo, with any new or replaced items featuring the new brand moving forward.


“This is an exciting time for our city and the new branding really reflects the changes we are making,” says City Manager Monica Irelan Dupee. “Our new brand and communication efforts will help our residents, business owners and stakeholders relay the stories that celebrate our city’s qualities, which will then attract others to participate, contribute and invest in what makes our city unique.”