“The North Carolina Department of Commerce is North Carolina’s leading economic development agency, working with local and regional stakeholders and partners to support the development and growth of companies within the state and to recruit and relocate those from other areas within the United States and from around the globe. Our mission is to enhance the economic opportunity and quality of life for all North Carolinians.” This is the official logo of the state of North Carolina.
The logo's deep green and blue colors represent the state's scenic landscape from the mountains to the sea. Embedded within the logo is a longleaf pine tree symbolizing the strong roots, growth and natural beauty characteristic of the state. The tagline, "Nothing Compares," reflects a place rich in variety and opportunity with vibrant large cities and quaint small communities, world-class colleges and universities, businesses large and small, compelling arts and visitor attractions, and a rich diversity of people and cultures.
Let's pretend the concept — a large tree visible in the counterspace of two letters — is a good idea. Okay, now that we are done pretending… the concept is weak. The execution is deplorable. And the tagline is two letters short of a 1990 hit song that, thanks to this post, will be your ear worm for the day. It's actually kind of surprising to see such bad execution in a modern-day destination identity, especially when so many towns, cities, and states are doing it right and placing a lot of effort in their logos. The "N-tree-C" monogram is so poorly rendered that the clip-art-ey mountains and waves look almost good by comparison. Almost because they are also terrible and unrelated visually to anything else. I also love how there is no relationship between the typography in the wordmark and the tagline. Like, zero. Okay, maybe they are both blue but that's it. With Raleigh, NC, being such a groovy, on-the-rise city you'd think the Department of Commerce could have thrown a stone and hit a good designer.
Thanks to Ian Lee for the tip.