In 2014, the City of Sterling Heights’ Visioning Team, comprised of 20 city employees, representing all city departments, formulated a 15 year strategy for the city. This strategy was based upon extensive research, working with SEMCOG (South East Michigan Council of Governments), to determine the priorities of the city’s stakeholders. The team outlined visioning principles and a vision statement which became known as the city’s 2030 Vision. City leadership is focused on this vision to make the City of Sterling Heights a place that offers an exceptional quality of life.
At the same time, there were plans to update the city’s website and it seemed the perfect time to update the city’s 20 year-old logo and create a slogan that could succinctly communicate the 2030 Vision Statement.
Identity Creative was brought into this piece of the 2030 Visioning to do more than update the city’s logo. We were brought in to help build a brand identity for the city that would uniquely capture the strength of Sterling Heights and a succinct message for its 2030 Vision. Our challenge was to create a symbol and slogan that encapsulates the 2030 Vision in a phrase that can be easily shared, to unite people around the vision.
To view the city’s introduction to the re-branding created by their talented SHTV producers, click below:
When we first met with the committee, almost immediately we sensed the energy, drive and enthusiasm of the Visioning Team for the future of this city. They had surveyed hundreds of stakeholders—residents & business owners—sifted through the responses and identified priorities. We learned of the city’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, the 2030 Vision and the plan to make that vision a reality.
Our goal was to find the qualities that would differentiate this city: what makes it unique? One of the key attributes of the city that continued to surface to the top was innovation. Innovation is even listed among the city’s founding core values.
– Linda Kleist, Owner, Identity Creative
There are a lot of strengths in the City of Sterling Heights on which to build. Sterling Heights is the 4th largest city in our beautiful state of Michigan with welcoming parks, concerts & Freedom Hill, great shopping, festivals, beautiful trails and kayaking on the Clinton River! Sterling Heights also has state-of-the-art high-tech manufacturing companies with a line of others wanting to get in. Furthermore, the city has a history of building partnerships with the county, state, businesses & schools. Velocity Center, an incubator for business and innovation – the only one of its kind in Macomb Co — is located in Sterling Heights.
The city can tap into this innovative skill and energy for its retail centers, neighborhoods and public spaces to overcome obstacles and create pathways toward an exceptional Sterling Heights.
Building on the key attribute of innovation, the slogan, Innovating Living, was selected by the Visioning team.
Innovating – it’s present tense. It doesn’t stop.
Living – in every area. In our communities, open spaces & public places and in economic opportunity for business.
We hope the same enthusiasm we felt with the Visioning Team extends to all those who have an investment in the city. Sterling Heights is removing barriers to bring people together of different cultures, areas of expertise and various disciplines to meet challenges and take hold of opportunities.
The Symbol and Signature
The previous Sterling Heights logo has served the city well through the years. A clean, elegant symbol, it was one of our considerations to maintain this symbol and recreate new standards of use as it had been inconsistently maintained with fonts & colors. Credibility of an organization suffers with a poorly reproduced identity. However, the Visioning Team, through a thorough decision-making process, determined that the city would be served best with a new look that would represent Sterling Heights as a city with a bold vision for an exceptional quality of life.
Identity Creative has a proven process that will guide a team through the challenge of selecting a new identity to represent an entire organization, business or product. The Visioning Team was presented with several unique designs in black and white. Through thoughtful discussion and evaluation, select concepts surfaced to the top. Then, through a series of revisions, the ideal symbol emerged. A welcoming and bold font was also selected. Color combinations were then explored.
The walk-through illustrations below communicate the relevance of the selected symbol.
The news here is not about a new logo, but about a city with a bold vision. The bold, vibrant, welcoming signage as it is rolled out throughout the city, will serve as a reminder that Sterling Heights is a city that is looking toward the future with a bold vision for an exceptional quality of life. – Bill Kleist, Owner, Identity Creative
The new City of Sterling Heights signature: