Going green: Northbrook unveils new branding identity

Editor's note: Glenview Public Library recently worked with a5 on branding. The Village of Northbrook's previous communications specialist was Kylie Cerk.

Northbrook's new logo and accompanying tag lines - "True North" and "Thrive Here" - officially were released by the village March 2.

During a Jan. 25 State of the Village address, Village President Kathryn Ciesla presented a series of slides projecting a new Northbrook brand identity that will appear on village signage, on social media, on its Northbrook Voice newsletters, street banners and at public events.

She clicked on a slide that showed the logo on an image of a reusable shopping bag. Attendees at the Northbrook Public Library auditorium clapped in approval.

"How we think about a brand is a brand is all-encompassing," said new Northbrook Communications Director Nicholas Glenn.

Glenn came to Northbrook government after eight years as communications director for North Shore District 112, which covers Highland Park, Highwood and Fort Sheridan. He's lived in Chicago since 2006.

"The logo and tag lines are something you'd see first in front of you, but over the next months and years we're going to breathe life into that brand," Glenn said.

The branding, which except for official documents, will replace the Northbrook corporate seal Ciesla said had been used "forever." It was created by branding and digital agency a5 with input from Northbrook residents and community and business leaders.

Over the past several years, the Chicago firm executed rebranding efforts for Heritage Oaks Golf Club and, more recently, Glenview Public Library.

Reflecting a5's philosophy of "creating healthy, sustainable communities" and in tandem with the residents it consulted, the logo's main elements are reminiscent of two leaves in lighter and darker shades of green. The village name is written below in dark gray, lowercase letters. The logo may be presented on either a white or dark gray field.

"It's a nod to nature and sustainability. My impression is that the community values sustainability, the green lifestyle," Glenn said. "It is abstract and it's intended to be bright, fresh and a little more approachable than a seal."

The "True North" line will be used "to build a stronger community by encouraging people to find their purpose as individuals and as part of the Northbrook community," according to a news release.

"Thrive Here" is intended to market the village to potential residents and businesses.

"We'll extend the brand through services and community pride, and externally, that we are a place to consider, that we are a place people can come to thrive," Glenn said. "We have great schools, great events. We want to invite them in to take a look and they can start a business, start a family."

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