Main Street logo, slogan puts ‘mark’ on Montevallo

NANCY WILSTACH / Special to the Reporter

MONTEVALLO – Montevallo Main Street now has its own slogan—“Making our mark on downtown!”—with its own logo that can be adapted to suit various businesses, events and functions.

In fact, in the debut version of the logo, the “mark” is an exclamation point inserted into an arc of color blocs above the name and slogan.

Announcement of the new logo and slogan came during a “Brand Reveal” event at Parnell Memorial Library Monday, April 16.

It is all part of Montevallo’s participation in Main Street Alabama. In his presentation, planning and design consultant Tripp Muldrow showed a variety of ways the logo and slogan could be used.

Muldrow, a partner in Arnett Muldrow of Greenville, S.C., said the design emerged from roundtable discussions involving between 60 and 70 Montevallo businesses and residents. The discussions’ objective, he said, was to find out what stands out in locals’ minds, and what they want to tell others about their community.

To introduce the topic and explore why Montevallo might need to look at its “brand system,” Muldrow displayed some half dozen logos now used to say “Montevallo,” from the University of Montevallo’s falcon atop an “M” to the official fanlight green and white city logo.

The hodgepodge of labels sends a mixed message, he said.  The designers set out to capture their essence in something that could be consolidated into an adaptable and adjustable framework to emphasize unity amid variety.

He clicked through several examples of how the exclamation point and the fanned color blocs could be used.  For example, signs for the city’s three main parks could all use a green exclamation mark with a line drawing fanning out in the top segment that reflects each park’s principal use: sports, art or nature.

Businesses are welcome to use the logo and adapt it, he said.  One suggestion was a shopping bag with the Montevallo Main Street logo on its side.

The only right his firm retains to the design, Muldrow said, is “the right to tell your story.”

Mary Helmer, the state coordinator for Main Street Alabama, commented on the recently completed streetscape in the city’s downtown, calling it “one of the prettiest streetscapes I have seen.” She added that she was very impressed that so much has been accomplished since Montevallo became part of the Main Street program in 2014.

City Clerk Herman Lehman explained how the Main Street program operates.  The city applied for membership, making a presentation about its culture, history and amenities to the state board.  Montevallo’s representatives also expressed what the city would like to accomplish as a result of its membership.

The city pays annual membership fees, starting at $5,000 for the first year and then $3,000 the following year, Lehman said.  “Alone, the cost to do a marketing study can run from $15,000 to $150,000,” he said.

Besides the benefit of shared planning resources, he said, the city benefits from brainstorming sessions with other Main Street members as each community tries to boost its downtown.

Lehman said the logo and slogan will go now to the Montevallo City Council for consideration as an official emblem of the city.