Evolution Of An Identity
In January of 2013, Pasadena Heritage found themselves with a minor identity crisis. They had a history of remarkable successes, but their mission had evolved over the years. At its most basic, advocacy, preservation and protection of historic architectural treasures take funding, and while Pasadena Heritage had a loyal core of supporters and advocates, they needed to refresh their message to broaden their audience. The organization approached PADV Pasadena Advertising to create a new look to attract more fans and supporters.
Their old arch and tree look (inset) had served them for over 37 years to reinforce their branding line: Saving our Past for the Future. At the time, they were embroiled in an intense struggle to save Old Pasadena from the wrecking ball, and they succeeded. But when their mission evolved from an exclusive preservation role to include education and advocacy, they needed to spread the word of who they were.
They came to us with a specific set of strategic and tactical goals:
Strategically, they wanted to better communicate their mission, accomplishments and advocacy efforts. They needed to increase their visibility, establish the importance of preserving Pasadena’s history, maximize local educational programs and enlist more support, and connect to neighborhoods, organizations and entities critical to their mission.
Tactically, their prime objective was to enhance name recognition with a new visual identity. They wanted this new identity to show pride in their accomplishments, promote current advocacy and education efforts, establish their relevancy and especially more accurately portray their mission: Historic Preservation through Advocacy and Education.
They wanted a simple, elegant new logo element to immediately convey their mission to preserve and protect the historic, architectural, and cultural resources of the City of Pasadena. Our first move was to simplify the tag line Historic Preservation through Advocacy and Education. Although the message was basically accurate, it was a bit convoluted and sold their accomplishments and mission short. Fundamentally it did little to advance the scope of their message beyond their original: Saving our Past for the Future. We took the three most active words in their new Mission Statement and turned them into the tag line:
Preservation • Advocacy • Education
Rather than focus on the steps they take to “Preserve History” or saving the past, we make preservation just one of three major efforts they are dedicated to. Preservation of the historical architecture still comes first, but now their mission also includes Advocating for the treasures of the City, as well as Educating residents and visitors to the history that makes Pasadena unique.
Next was how to create a “simple, elegant logo,” an image that somehow captured the essence of Pasadena “architecture” from all of the architectural styles that the City is known for. At first blush, this seemed too complex and daunting a task. The danger of creating a muddled montage was all-too possible, as was the necessity to avoid it. Luckily Pasadena had the perfect architectural and landscape answer to the dilemma. The City’s own Colorado Street Bridge.
This new look was created to more accurately represent the scope of our mission: Pasadena preservation, advocacy and education. The core image is an iconic symbol of Pasadena, which represents those three main aspects of our work. The inclusion of the arch and the tree from our original logo is a reminder of the evolution of our City. We are most grateful to Pasadena Advertising for the design of our new look, and to our original graphic designer Jim Marrin for the original logo created 37 years ago that served us so well.
High praise indeed.