A Brand to Believe In

By Jodie Perry

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…a fearless group of leaders launched a community branding project. Okay, perhaps it wasn’t that long ago, but it sure feels like it! The project began back in 2019, in those heady, pre-COVID days – you know, before everything became “unprecedented”. While it has taken a little longer to bring together than planned, the committee is excited to officially unveil the brand!

The new brand is versatile, forward-looking, and embraces where we are and where we are headed. We have versions for the County, Cities, and Villages so that we can communicate a cohesive message. We have a strong ‘spark’ of ingenuity and creativity here – which you see visually depicted in the logo. The 9 longer ‘sparks’ represent our cities and villages. The script Ohio distinguishes us from other places named Mansfield, Ontario, Richland County, etc. The colors are fresh, bright, new and do not correspond to any local school or government logo colors – this was purposefully done to help unify the look.

The company really nailed who the community is, our strong innovative history, and that we are in the midst of our revitalization. The underlying brand promise is “A story in the making is yours to transform.” It’s full of momentum and recognizes that we are shaping our destiny right now.

We also asked the branding consultants to create an advertising campaign that could be used for tourism, economic development, and in other ways. The “Space for…” campaign was an idea that we all immediately loved. It’s about the physical space, and the more metaphorical space, that we have to play, create, and innovate – and space for nature, thrills, and community. Striking local images drive the story with this campaign and we are excited about how it will represent our community!

The branding project was funded by the Richland County Foundation, Destination Mansfield, the Chamber & RCDG, City of Mansfield, Richland County Commissioners, Mechanics Bank, OhioHealth, Park National Bank, and Richland Source.

Lee and I both want to give a big shout-out to our committee that helped choose the branding consultant, host them during immersion week, and gave other important feedback throughout the process: Cody Albert (OhioHealth), Jay Allred (Richland Source), Fred Boll (Buckeye Imagination Museum), Mayor Teri Brenkus (Village of Bellville), Aurelio Diaz (Third Street Family Health Services), Jessica Gribben (Chamber), Cameron Haring (Deca Manufacturing), Mayor Randy Hutchinson (City of Ontario), Jennifer Kime (Downtown Mansfield), Kristi Lord (Mechanics Bank), Kristie Massa (Park National Bank), Mayor Steve Schag (City of Shelby), Debbie Schenk, Maura Teynor (Richland County Foundation*), Mayor Tim Theaker (City of Mansfield), Chelsie Thompson (Renaissance Theatre), Deanna West-Torrence (North End Community Improvement Collaborative), Mayor Brian White (Village of Lexington), Commissioner Tony Vero (Richland County). Special thanks to Cody, Kristi, and Maura who joined Lee & I on a smaller steering committee to guide the process – something that required hundreds of hours over the course of the project.

After all this, the truth is that branding implementation has just begun! You’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more about the branding in the coming months and years. We want to get YOU involved in the process as well. Stay tuned for that! I’ll end with a few words from the brand story:
“Today, we are all creators, sharing a collective vision, deeply rooted in the success of our past.
Generation after generation, forging imagination and prosperity.
We are building momentum, led by the dreamers of now.
We are a story in the making and yours to transform.
Come, make it in Mansfield. Welcome home.”