City adopts new logo, tagline
By MIKE EDDLEMAN
If anyone remained on the fence about Liberty Hill’s focus on growth, the City Council put that doubt to rest when it voted 4-1 Monday to adopt a new tagline for the city – “Freedom to Grow”.
Council member Wendell McLeod voted against both the tagline and accompanying logo design.
“We’re hoping that not only will they be attractive and signal to businesses you’re trying to attract that this is a great place to flourish and hang your hat, but also to be embraced by the community and become a sense of pride,” said MP Mueller, who worked with Freach Design on the project.
The adoption of a new tagline and logo was the culmination of about three months worth of research in and around the community and meetings with city staff to pinpoint the identity and unique qualities of Liberty Hill.
“We were charged with coming up with a message, and a look and feel, a logo for the city. We started with gathering input,” said Mueller, who led the presentation through the team’s development process to the final pair of options. “The goal was to come up with a logo that the City can use in tandem (with the Economic Development Corp.) and perhaps the Chamber of Commerce, with one logo and one key message for the city. Our messaging should highlight what makes this town a great place to live and work.”
“Freedom to Grow” won out over “Wide Open Opportunities” when Council Member Liz Rundzieher moved to adopt the option and the council voted with no discussion.
Mueller detailed the specifics of the two logo designs as well, calling the first option “a little retro and a little modern at the same time” and referring to the second as “a little more corporate perhaps in the typography used.”
“What we want to do in the logo development is differentiate and project that key message and feeling we’re trying to get across about Liberty Hill and living and working here,” Mueller said.
When the Council selected between the two logos, Council Member Liz Branigan moved to adopt the first option, a script design with the word Liberty larger and Hill small underneath with a small circle resembling a trademark logo on the end with a TX inside. Her motion died for lack of a second.
Rundzieher followed with a motion to adopt the second, which then passed 4-1.
Over the three months of development, Freach Design spent much of the time gathering data.
“The process starts with input, so we got input from the city, we talked about the strengths and weaknesses of the town, the opportunities out there, any threats and the overall environment,” Mueller said, adding that Liberty Hill was ahead of many other cities in this process. “A lot of cities don’t invest in this process and growth happens to them haphazardly, and then they figure out maybe they attracted the wrong types of businesses.”
They conducted market research interviews, and looked at about 20 other cities in this area and their branding and messaging, also asking a number of questions about Liberty Hill in the process.
Questions included what would make you want to move to a city like this? What are your perceptions about Liberty Hill? What must the city have for you to relocate your business there?
Mueller said one key issue continued to crop up as they talked about the city with those on the outside.
“The rest of the world lacks awareness of the huge growth going on in Liberty Hill,” she said. “That seemed pretty consistent. There was no concept of the 500-plus housing starts last year and the number of building permits issued.”
Based on the information gathered, assets identified that the city has to offer include land, highly-rated schools, lots of outdoor activities, and a family focus.
“It is much easier comparatively speaking to do development and construction projects here and that’s an asset,” Mueller said.
All the research led to the final question used in narrowing down the focus, “What does Liberty Hill offer businesses that other cities do not that your target businesses want and need?”
Mueller said it all hinged on opportunity.
“There is so much space located here, and at a relatively low cost compared to the region,” she said. “There’s an ease of doing business here not found in neighboring communities like Austin and the wide open lifestyle with a lot of opportunities to come in on the ground floor and make a difference and be part of the community here.”
The presentation touched briefly on key marketing and recruitment opportunities for Liberty Hill, which played a part in determining the message.
Mueller suggested the EDC and city develop an online property database to better promote available properties.
“There needs to be more sharing of data between landowners, real estate professionals and the EDC about the available land here,” she said.
A “maker space” was also suggested, to tap into the arts community.
“There is a real artisan movement right now among millennials and others – craft cheeses, craft leather goods, artist bays – so your town is ripe for something that would create a cottage industry here,” Mueller said.
She added that the city should target businesses such as financial services, insurance and real estate companies, for growth, as well as light industrial, which can service or supply developers as the area grows.
The work doesn’t end with the tagline and logo.
The cost of the project is $32,000, split evenly between the city and EDC, and includes not only what was adopted Monday, but also additional messaging and adaptation of the collateral to other formats.
“We will start designing the next phase, which is the ads, signage, website and other applications,” Tanya Freach said.