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Baldwin City, Kansas, May 3, 2021 --
Baldwin City Municipal Government today announced approval of new branding guidelines. Changes include an alternative logo in addition to the current Maple Leaf logo, a small icon, and an expanded color palette. Logo usage expectations are also clearly defined.
“I’m so happy with the new alternative logo. We aren’t really a traditional town, and I think the personality of the new logo reflects that,” says Baldwin City Council Member Cory Venable. “When I look at it, it feels like Baldwin.”
“I believe these changes move us toward a stronger visual identity,” says Lynn Hughes, Communications Director for Baldwin City Municipal Government. “Baldwin is a vibrant and fun community, and these changes make it easy to show that online.”
The new brand guidelines spell out usage for the new colors and imagery, as well as writing style.
Baldwin City Municipal Government has spent significant time and money increasing their transparency and communication with the public over the last few years. A few notable efforts include hiring a full time Communications Director last spring and commissioning a new website expected to go live in the summer of 2021.
For more information about the new city branding, please contact Lynn Hughes, Communications Director, at 785-594-6427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This guide is just that: A guide for individuals who write content on behalf of Baldwin City Municipal Government. It’s meant to help employees, administration, vendors, and the governing body understand the strategy and decisions made in the name of branding by the Communications Department, while providing a framework to hang our brand on. It’s a living document intended to be added to over time and updated yearly by the Communication Director. The communication strategy laid out here was informed bythe City Council Mission Statement: Safe, Affordable, Vibrant, Interactive Community with Opportunity for all.
One of the defining features of Baldwin City is independence. We are strong and independent in the tradition of the pioneers. Positioning the city government, its employees, and departments, as confident and knowledgeable fosters a feeling of safety and trust in our community. Practically speaking, stick to standard journalistic writing styles that are either persuasive or expository. Make statements instead of asking questions when conveying information. People come to us looking for answers and needing reassurance, so having a strong point of view is crucial. Be direct and get to the point quickly. Subjunctive mood should be avoided. Shorter sentences cut down on confusion and project confidence.
We are a town where neighbors help neighbors, a community comes together for the good of all, and people on the street gladly give directions to strangers. We are here to serve, and that means making things easier and simpler for our audiences. Anything we say or any information we give should be useful, easy to understand, and relevant.
We don’t try to be funny, but we’re not afraid to laugh at ourselves. We’ll crack a joke when the time is right, or perpetuate running jokes. Baldwin City is an eclectic and quirky mixture of farmers and professors, industrial workers, students, and artists. Its history is a melding of free thought and experimentation with caution and tradition. Our brand reflects that through photos, anecdotes, and celebration of the people and community groups that make up our town.
Words can get in the way of communication. Remembering who we serve is always foremost in our minds. Our citizens demand honesty, and that’s what we give them, in the kindest possible sense. Simple and clear communication uses short words and simple sentences. Steer clear of jargon and acronyms. Portray complex systems and processes in the easiest possible way so that all may understand. Using long words is not a virtue in the world of public communication, so use the simplest terms possible to convey clear ideas. Tools like the Hemingway App are also appropriate to help clarify and simplify language.
Created as a visual identity for all of Baldwin City through the former Tourism Bureau, the maple leaf and typographical logo should be employed mainly for physical applications: Signs, vehicles, work shirts, and anywhere the focus needs to be primarily on the name “Baldwin City” or needs to clearly be “City of Baldwin City.” It may also be used in cases where simplicity is paramount and the alternate logo is too complex.
The alternative logo is intended for mainly digital applications, including social media, website, and other visual productions. Its intended use is primarily visual, not typographical. Its use should promote a strong emotional connection and denote a sense of place.
Because it is more visually driven than the signature, the color palette has been expanded to allow more creativity and freedom of expression in designs. It lends itself to modification for seasons, events, and departments, at the discretion of the Communication Director. The final effect of using both logos together consistently will develop a stronger visual identity for Baldwin City.
When the alternative logo is too large or cluttered, this smaller icon may be used. The callout to the Kansas City Royals’ use of KC was intentional but delivered in our own signature font and style.
Within the City, there are several divisions/departments that utilize their own logo, which is also familiar to the public. Since the department is under the umbrella of city services, the individual logos are considered secondary identifiers within the City branding efforts.
When a secondary identifier needs to be linked to the City logo, the secondary identifier must be far enough apart so as not to appear grouped. The City logo must be placed prominently at the top or bottom of the piece on the cover or front, where it isn’t over shadowed by other elements. When color becomes an issue, utilize the department logo in color and the City brand logo in black and white or reverse white.
Navy and Gold have served as the city’s primary colors for some time. They are reminiscent of Baker University’s timeless navy and orange,and also shout out to the deep blue of the October sky and the brilliant colors of maple trees in the fall.
Although the Navy and Gold remain the primary colors, red and a soft green are used to add texture and interest.
BALDWIN CITY NAVY
CMYK (100, 73, 0, 33)
MAPLE LEAF GOLD
CMYK (0, 54, 100, 5)
RGB (213, 120, 0)
SANTA FE TRAIL GREEN
BRICK STREET RED
Baldwin City’s graphic identity system uses the Baskerville family. Rigourous adherence to these type standards will help the City maintain a unified brand.
A secondary type family is Gill Sans, to be used as an accent typeface.
The type face and type size, used with a passage, can communicate as much to the reader as the words themselves. Type helps establish a mood, attract attention, and promote visual harmony. Consistency in type usage is as important to the City’s branding program as any other graphic element.
Font sizes, leading (the space between lines of type), and kerning (the space between letters) is determined on a project-by-project basis.
The entire Baskerville font family may be used; however, the manner in which the font is used varies. Copy should only be in Navy Blue if it is the main headline or key phrase. Body copy should not exceed 12 pt size. Headlines and titles are to appear in all upper case, the semibold style of the font used, and without punctuation.
The full Style Guidelines are available here.