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New logo highlights city’s goals

Infinite possibilities.

That’s the message the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation will distribute to potential investors and tourist markets as the city opens its doors even wider to attract business and investment.

NEDC launched its new brand Thursday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in front of more than 100 dignitaries, business leaders and media. At the same time, it also flicked the switch on a slick new website at www.investnanaimo.com and three new YouTube marketing videos highlighting all Nanaimo has to offer. Created by Nanaimo’s Impact Visual Communications, the $27,400 brand features the word ‘Nanaimo’ in a simple font, with a colourful swatch of six symbols perched above the ‘o’.

The first symbol is a green leaf, representing clean technology, eco-tourism, the environment and aboriginal heritage. The second symbol is a magenta house, representing community, hospitality and lifestyle, while a gold star symbolizes arts, culture and sport tourism.

A red square highlights industry, investment and retail; a purple cap stands for education and a skilled workforce, while a blue sail speaks to the city’s marine activity, harbour and nearby islands.

Sasha Angus, CEO at economic development, said the new brand and logo will give Nanaimo a recognizable identity in a tough business environment.

“Many communities are vying to attract new economic opportunities in an incredibly competitive field,” he said. “We needed a strong and distinct brand for our region. The ‘infinite possibilities’ positioning provides excellent applications for both economic development and tourism.”

An added advantage to the design allows staff to appeal specifically to individual investors. For example, if hosting a clean technology company interested in investing in Nanaimo, the green leaf can be isolated to appeal to the investor’s specific interests and philosophy.

The organization’s old logo was a blue rectangular box with ‘NEDC’ printed inside.

Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan, who was the driving force behind creating the corporation in his first term, said the launch represents a more positive economic vibe for the city after years of struggling in the recession.

“As I say, you can only be sad for so long, at some point things have to get better and people are starting to feel upbeat, they’re looking at new ventures and new ideas,” he said.

A.J. Hustins, board chairman of NEDC, said establishing the corporation’s new identity began at the launch.

“We’ve got a strategy put together for a marketing plan and within the next few days you’ll be seeing this everywhere.”

The roll out is expected to cost up to $10,000.

Mike Thompson, president of Impact Visual Communications, said it took his team about eight weeks – a short time in the world of brand creation – to establish an idea that would work.

“We went through several ideas before landing on this one, but the whole brand, our final result, was driven by the community,” said Thompson. “A lot of chatting with people, a lot of meeting with people, a lot of focus groups, and it all ended up pointing right to this plan and we’re very happy with it and we feel it represents the community’s personality.”

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