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Danville launches new visual brand

Town promotes itself with new 'Live Locally' mantra

Danville has launched a new branding campaign, designed to unify the town and attract more visitors under the umbrella tagline: Live Locally.

"We want to make Danville more of a destination," said Geoff Gillette, public information coordinator for the town.

The branding and marketing campaign, first endorsed by the Town Council in August 2016, includes a Danville-specific logo featuring an oak tree, local artwork and, for social media purposes, the hashtag #LiveLocallyDanville. Town leaders hope that local business owners will incorporate the new brand into their stores' own design and storefronts.

Part of the reason town leaders wanted to launch this new campaign was because Danville didn't previously have a cohesive brand; rather, different sectors of the town had their own, which was confusing for Danville residents, said Nat Rojanasathira, assistant to the town manager.

And the concept of "Live Locally" is intended to encompass all of the "pillars" that the Danville community feels make their town unique: historic, small-town, recreation/outdoorsy, foodie destination, family-friendly and arts-focused.

To come up with the brand and tagline, the town hired marketing firm Bellweather Agency. "A lot of our process involves the community, and we spend a lot of time listening to the community," said Emily Lessard, Bellweather's chief creative officer.

In this campaign, that meant sitting for hours in council meetings, listening to what people cared about. They held a brand workshop that included local business owners, and facilitated a conversation with the community discussing the essence of Danville.

"And through that conversation we were able to understand that Danville's really a place of experiences," Lessard said. "It's a place where you go for a wonderful hike on the Ridge Line. Where you go shopping in stores that sell things that you can't find online, that you can't find on Amazon, that you can't get at the mall."

Bringing business owners into the collaborative process, said Gillette, helped establish local buy-in to the campaign idea.

The council formally adopted the town's new Community Branding and Marketing Plan earlier this month.

The oak tree, which was featured on the Danville seal, was already a "singularly identifiable mark" and important to the community, according to Lessard, so the branding campaign left it alone, just adding some "refreshed typography," she said.

Another key component of the brand was the use of cyanotypes, colorful photographs created not with a camera, but rather through a 200-year-old process of mixing different chemicals and exposing the prints to the sun. They will provide the cohesive artistic element that will be used for any events or programs that Danville is promoting.

Lessard said she hopes to hold some workshops at the farmers' market, where residents can contribute to the brand themselves, going to workshops and making their own cyanotypes.

They will also be producing a Live Locally guide, said Rojanasathira, which will list Danville businesses and depict parks and trails and other activities that the community has to offer. Businesses can then distribute these guides at their workplaces.

The town encourages all residents and visitors to participate in the campaign by using the hashtag #LiveLocally on social media.

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