New Covington rebrand ‘matches who we are’

Kenton Hornbeck
Kenton is a reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

More by....

Love the Cov.

The City of Covington’s recently launched rebrand is intended to help its Economic Development Department better match the city’s modern-day branding ethos, officials said.

“I think this matches who we are,” said Dan Hassert, Covington communications director. “I think the whole feeling, fervor and personality that Durham worked with our economic development people and other local business leaders to come up is something that falls neatly in line with the way we see ourselves, and the way people who want to be here see Covington.”

(Photo CC Durham Studio)

In May of 2019, the City of Covington contracted Durham Brands to remake the city’s branding. The new branding has been developed and will be integrated into the city’s communications and marketing material. The purpose of the branding will help Covington attract investment, jobs, and talent.

“The new identity will be integrated into all of the department’s marketing efforts, materials and other collateral targeted to attraction, retention and expansion of businesses, real estate developers, investors and new talent,” Sarah Allan, Covington’s Economic Development assistant development director, said.

Economic Development Director Tom West said the idea to formalize a new marketing vision, which includes a tagline, a logo, and a 144-word “manifesto,” had a multi-faceted origin:

  • A recommendation from site selection consultant Garner Economics, who wrote a citywide economic strategy in 2019.
  • Ongoing success in marketing Covington as a walkable, energetic, “different” community where employees – after being introduced to the city – told their employers they couldn’t wait to locate.
  • The need to improve on the existing Citywide logo, an anthropomorphic “C” made to look like a hand that alternately held hammers and pine trees and made an “OK” sign.

“Let me just say that that ‘C’ that had the hand on it wasn’t getting the job done, especially when our job in economic development is to attract talent, investors and developers to The Cov,” West said. “There’s so much noise out there on social media with all of our competing cities and communities, we need to be very clean, very clear, and very memorable in what we say and how we say it.”

West said the City wanted to create not only a small, visual logo but a narrative that captured The Cov’s personality, purpose, and potential. The brand’s “tools,” or “parts”:

  • Slogan/tagline/catchphrase: “Unapologetically Covington.” It touts the City’s unabashed embrace of its quirkiness, diversity, and willingness to think big and push the envelope, in contrast sometimes to more mainstream economic development organizations.
  • Logo: Three blue and white letters – COV – designed with a series of lines and an open “O” that can feature a photo inside.
  • Manifesto: This statement captures “the brand.”

Amy Kummler, who owns Up Over Bar, is active in the MainStrasse Village events and issues, and is a 2022 winner of an Authenti-CITY award, read the manifesto at Monday’s event:

“Welcome to the bold side of the river, where timelessness meets the ventures of tomorrow. Covington may be a historic river city, but our beautifully preserved architecture isn’t for show, and neither are our rainbow crosswalks. We’re not an attraction, we attract the bold and the best. And with the most diverse and accessible city government in the region, we encourage, support, and retain them, too. Everything we do is by The Cov, of The Cov, and for The Cov – all characters, no chains. Our avenues are lined with locally owned retailers and restaurants, and our bars flow with Kentucky bourbon. This is where state-of-the art laboratories stand alongside 19th-century gothic basilicas. Where VC startups disrupt markets and family-owned hardware stores turn 100. This is where the past meets progress, where y’all really means all. We are unbridled, uncommon, and unmistakably confident.

Unapologetically, Covington”

Covington business owners and workers praised the new branding, saying it will help the city stand out from others in Northern Kentucky.

“I love the fresh look and bold colors of the new brand,” said Jill Morenz, director of Community Initiatives and Communications with the Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky, who attended Monday’s event. “My favorite part is the way the ‘O’ can be used as a frame for the City seal or photos.”

Others said they appreciated its simplicity, and ability to visually convey a message.

“The Economic Development Department’s new branding is truly reflective of the Department. It’s crisp, sophisticated, professional and effective,” Patrick Hughes of DBL Law said. “That is the message we want to convey to businesses about our City, and it is a reality.”

More articles

Latest articles

In Case You Missed It