St. Johns County Unveils New Branding

In the business world, a brand identity visually represents the core values and personality of a company. The same is true for public entities. With that in mind, St. Johns County unveiled a new logo as part of an effort to promote the area’s identity for potential visitors, residents and new business development.

“One of the primary drivers for this project is the better promotion and marketing the economic opportunities we have here in the county (and) help grow the economic and commercial component” of the county, said Tera Meeks, St. Johns County director of tourism and cultural development.

Meeks said the new logo will not replace the official county seal but will be used in a variety of ways, including on official letterhead and county vehicles and in materials to promote the county.

The county partnered with the St. Johns County Industrial Development Authority in the logo project, Meeks said, with the IDA providing $250,000 in funding for the effort.

Meeks said the project began about 18 months ago and included focus group meetings, interviews, as well as community and external surveys.

“We extensively reached out to the community as a whole to figure out what people feel are our strengths and weaknesses and the things we should highlight,” she said. “More than 2,150 people provided feedback over the course of about three months.”

The logo was designed by a local company, Future Friends, comprised of graduates of Flagler College in St. Augustine.

Public comment was mixed on the logo project, with some residents calling it government waste and others concerned that the county’s artistic and cultural communities were not included in the design process.

Isabelle Renault, president of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, said the effort was good for the county.

“I want to congratulate you and thank you for the research you have done,” she told commissioners and county staff. “I want to thank you for listening to the residents and business leaders telling you what St. Johns County means to them.”

Renault said the updated design “elevates our joint economic development efforts” and will help bring desirable, targeted industries to the county.

“I want people to understand this branding effort is more than a logo,” she said. “It is not only a necessity for telling the story of who we are today, it serves as a launching pad for future initiatives to define who we will be tomorrow.”