The brown and green logo still features Western North Carolina’s greatest natural asset — the mountains. But the silhouette of a ridgeline and the lettering are more fluid, less rigid than the blue mountains and font of the previous logo.
“We definitely wanted it to convey that we are a very innovative chamber, that we are very active, that we represent Haywood County and Western North Carolina in a very effective and efficient manner,” said Nyda Bittmann-Neville, a chamber board member and marketing and branding specialist who helped pick the new logo.
The idea of a new brand came up at the board’s annual retreat in 2011. So the board hired Waynesville-based Insight Marketing to create a new logo and brand. The chamber’s board of directors agreed that the former logo, which is at least eight years old, was outdated and was not reflective of what the organization is and does today.
“We are an advocate for business success,” said Katy McLean Gould, marketing and communications manager for the chamber. “We find we are a great connector.”
Chamber employees and business professionals who participated in the process of finding a new logo wanted something that showed what the group does. It helps attract people to the county, sponsors events and ties businesses together, among other things. The new logo adds to those goals, Gould said.
“It enhances our mission, which is to create and sustain a successful business environment,” Gould said.
Other logos brought to the table included leaves and hands connected but just weren’t right.
“Some of the other designs focused on trying to depict what we have in the community,” Bittmann-Neville said.
It’s not that the board didn’t like the other designs, but once the new logo was presented, it was the clear winner.
“As soon as we saw it, we knew it was us,” Gould said. “It was fresh. Classic and earthy.”