Jonesborough’s yearlong search for a tourism logo to represent the town in marketing materials and downtown way-finding signs may be nearing finalization.
On Wednesday, members of the town’s Tourism Logo Committee settled on a favorite to recommend to the Board of Mayor and Alderman for approval — a whimsical illustration of the Washington County Courthouse by Jonesborough artist Bill Bledsoe above the words, “Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee, 1779, Storytelling Capital of the World.”
Alcia Phelps, the committee chair and town’s tourism and marketing director, said a package of variations of the logo, including stacked, horizontal, black and white, tinted, full color and special events versions, will be presented to the board for possible approval at its next regular meeting on May 13.
The presentation to the board will be first since last fall when board members soundly rejected the committee’s previous recommendation of a flame illustration representing “the central flame of storytelling.”
Expressing concerns the flame did not adequately represent the town or its history, the board members sent the committee back to the drawing board with a request for a new design that incorporated Jonesborough’s top selling features, its history and its storytelling, possibly with a distinctive architectural element from the downtown district.
The committee spent several months preparing a selection of new designs developed with input from the community. The designs were then presented for critique by marketing professionals at two tourism conferences at which a graphic of Bledsoe’s courthouse illustration developed by Hillhouse Graphic Design emerged as the popular favorite.
On Wednesday, the committee refined and unanimously endorsed a version of the logo featuring the courthouse silhouetted against an oval background, a bold and historic Gloucester font, a full color version with a colonial blue slate background with burgundy lettering, and several special event versions that incorporate such elements as fireworks for the Jonesborough Days celebration and a tent for the October storytelling festival.
Phelps said the tourism logo will be used exclusively for marketing and tourist way-finding signs and will not alter’s Jonesborough’s existing municipal emblem that features a porch rail and gingerbread lattice from the historic Chester Inn and appears on town vehicles, uniforms and letterheads.