Founded in 1814, there is no expectation for the majority of our readers to have heard of the City of Covington in the state of Kentucky. I hadn’t. With a population of approximately 43,000, Covington is part of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky metropolitan area (aka Greater Cincinnati) and sits directly across Cincinnati, with the Ohio River in between them. A notable landmark among its historic neighborhoods is Daniel Libeskind’s Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge building. This past December the City of Covington introduced a new identity designed by the Cincinnati office of Landor.
“The City of Covington has existed for 200 years without a logo, until today. A lot has happened since 1815 and a lot has changed. It’s time for us to embrace the twenty first century.” said [City Manager Larry] Klein.
“The ‘Covington’s Alive!’ design, created by international branding firm Landor, will become an icon for Covington, synonymous with the colorful, vibrant, cool city Covington is today and will continue to be in the future.
“The new identity will deliver more impact, be stronger, more flexible and reduce confusion as to who is delivering services. It will build greater long term identification and align with best practice.”
“As the need arises to replace infrastructure, release documents and publications, the new logo will be used and new identity rolled out as required.
“The new brand is strong and cutting edge and will be instantly recognized as belonging to the City of Covington,” Klein said.
We start the year with a fairly atypical city logo. Foregoing featuring landmarks, geographical markers, or other local cues that are the usual suspects for city logos, this one introduces an anthropomorphic “C” with a hand that does all kinds of gestures, from an a-ok sign to a rock ‘n’ roll sign to waving its finger in disapproving fashion if you get a ticket. It’s kind of weird but it’s also kind of entertaining and surprising. How it represents Covington is not straightforward as most of the city’s taxpayers would probably want but as an outsider I would get the impression that Covington is a fun, quirky city that is outside the ordinary. Neighboring Cincinnati (which also starts with a “C”) could probably not get away with something like this because it’s a more serious city, so there is some relevance and appropriateness to it.
Most of the applications shown in the video above appear to be prototypes and proof of concept. Not much has been actually produced but they certainly point to an engaging set of identity materials that are fun, unexpected, and highly unique to Covington.