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COV200

Brand Identity & Activation

19 unique neighborhoods, 12 historic districts, 200 years of history, diversity, and growth…As the largest city within the Northern Kentucky region and the fifth most populous city in the state of Kentucky, Covington is an evolving, vibrant urban center of economic activity and entrepreneurial spirit. And with its rich history in art and architecture, it has become well-recognized for its historic neighborhoods and cultural art destinations. COV200 is a year-long+ bicentennial celebration aiming to expose, enlighten, increase awareness and heighten demand for all that our city has to offer now and for the future.

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Research

Working closely with the bicentennial co-chairs, we defined goals for promotion and awareness to ensure the COV200 brand was engaging, forward-thinking, and memorable. We also collected imagery of Covington and bicentennial celebrations across the country to help inspire the design direction, as well as inform the brand’s communication strategy.

Strategy

What stood out the most in our visual research was a relief sculpture titled “Spirit of Progress” found on Sims Furniture in Covington. The woman represents Covington’s “Columbia,” serving as a historical figure of freedom, progress, and the American dream. Channeling this symbolism, we created an identity that communicates the real value of Covington: the IDEA that anyone can settle here and turn their dreams into an actual lifestyle. The visuals and messaging aimed to enlist ambassadors to live the brand and celebrate the pride, progress, and future growth of our city.

Design Development

Columbia is most often visualized as a goddess-like figure wearing classically draped garments, but one iconic characteristic that often varied was her headdress. We photographed 40 Covingtonians, then applied different headdresses that we designed to each photo to tell a visual story of unity and transformation. The color palette includes blue and gold to tie to Kentucky, but it was also inspired by the colors found on the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Combining modern geometric graphics and art deco-inspired elements, we created a graphic system that celebrates the cultural identity of this ever-evolving community.

Brand Activation

We designed a range of collateral and promotional items including business cards, stickers, posters, yard and storefront signage, apparel and other merchandise. We also developed billboard campaigns and installed brand murals on buildings in Covington to increase awareness and celebrate the bicentennial. The COV200 brand was brought to life across various communication platforms, and has been featured in regional publications, social media agendas, and bicentennial events. With the breadth of brand materials and activations we created, this is our largest project to date and the work is ongoing.

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