All of the above and more, said Chamber President Cindy Larsen.
“We definitely wanted a fresh, contemporary look, but something that still was traditional enough to portray the longtime traditions of a chamber of commerce,” she said.
As a lakeside city, Larsen said Muskegon is often represented by water symbols, which the chamber was trying to stay away from, but looking at the new logo, the symbolism still comes across as giving a water-like impression.
“We didn’t want it to be a tourism logo; we wanted it to be business-like,” she said.
Despite the strong connection with water, Larsen said she is happy with the design and its expression of energy and movement, along with water.
Don Kalisz, owner and creative director of Relevant Branding, said along with the new logo, the chamber is also incorporating a new brand — “Appreciate Your Business” — that works on several levels: The chamber appreciates its members; members appreciate their membership; and members appreciate their own businesses and their clients.
Kalisz said the rings of the logo also symbolize the communication that connects the businesses to the community, the community to the outside and the growth of the chamber.
Kalisz said that although the logo was meant to express growth and communication, it also has been interpreted as ripples water.
“We developed a look based on dialogue from the chamber, dialogue from some of our members and our own recommendations,” he said. “A brand is much more than just a logo; the brand is the entire look of every piece of communication.”
The colors used in the logo, an earthy tan and water-blue, will also be used in the interior of the new chamber offices being built.
Jennifer Cross, marketing coordinator with the chamber, said this was a good time to look at a new logo, because of the changes taking place in Muskegon and the chamber itself changing locations.
“It really was a perfect time because of all the changes happening, not just with the downtown but with the community as a whole,” she said.
Cross said they were pleased with the logo and the positive feedback they have received from members in a variety of industries from banking to manufacturing.
“The company we’re working with, Relevant, has really been ambitious with the whole process,” she said. “I feel like we really hit it on the nose with what we have.”