At last, Lake County forest district updates logo after nearly 30 years

  • Lake County Forest Preserve District logos through the years. Clockwise from upper left: New logo launched this week; the version used from 1976 to 1990; a Hawthorn tree used in 1990-91; the just replaced version introduced in 1991.

    Lake County Forest Preserve District logos through the years. Clockwise from upper left: New logo launched this week; the version used from 1976 to 1990; a Hawthorn tree used in 1990-91; the just replaced version introduced in 1991. Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves

 
 
Posted1/16/2020 5:30 AM

Different colors with symbolic meaning have replaced the single-shade forest green of the leaflike logo the Lake County Forest Preserve District has used since 1991.

The new version is sharper and the typeface more modern, but the basic image that's familiar to Lake County residents was purposefully left intact in the redesign.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Refreshed is the term we're using," said Katherine Hamilton-Smith, the district's director of public affairs and development. The introduction of multiple colors in the logo is a first in the district's 61-year history.

"Color is so important -- that was intentional," she added.

Each of the four colors -- two shades of green, tan and blue -- is symbolic and relates to the district's mission and vision.

Green, which represents trees, foliage and grasses remains the predominant color. Light green equates with new growth and dark green with mature growth. Light brown represents soil and new life, and blue is water.

The process to refresh the logo began last summer with a survey sent to 10,000 households.

An overwhelming number of respondents reported strong familiarity with the 1991 image, so a modification rather than fresh start was in order.

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"You certainly don't want to abandon a strong logo," Hamilton-Smith said.

Expense was another consideration. The new logo immediately will replace the old one in digital formats and print materials, but only on signs, staff uniforms and vehicles as needed.

"If an entirely new design had been created, all locations out in the landscape where the logo is currently displayed would have needed to be changed right away," said forest board President Angelo Kyle.

"The refreshed logo closely resembles the former version and is still recognizable to our core followers," he added.

The refreshed version was developed internally with assistance from Costello Communications, which designed the Dunn Museum logo and the cover of the district's Horizons magazine.

"Now the logo seems much more unique, much more creative," said Kyle, who was on the forest board in 1991. At the time, the district was accused of emulating the logo of First Midwest Bank, he said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The revised logo is part of branding effort, which Kyle described as the emotional feeling one gets when visiting the forest preserves.

"A strong brand mark will immediately be associated with how people feel about an organization," Kyle said in announcing the change.

"This modernized logo strengthens the vision of the Lake County Forest Preserves to provide health and life, clean water and new growth, open spaces, and restored landscapes" to be enjoyed for generations, he added.

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