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Nohe on New County Logo: Let’s Move On

By Uriah Kiser May 28, 2013 1:08 pm

19 Comments

052813-NOHE-logo

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Who likes Prince William County’s new logo? Supervisor Marty Nohe does, and so does the county’s economic development office.

So far, less than $10,000 has been spent on printing the new logo on letterhead and marketing materials. It has also appeared on road signs welcoming visitors to the county.

With its boxy, blue design with the county’s printed name, the logo, in some instances, will replace the county’s traditional seal used for decades.

And as public debate on the look of the new logo continues, Nohe and the economic development staff appear to be the only ones who do like it.

“We asked for a marketing study to be done… we do need to do a better job of marketing ourselves, we have received some criticism for being old fashioned in some of our marketing and I think we need to think of ourselves as more of a product – like they do in economic development – and less as a government.”

Nohe owns and operates Appliance Connection in Woodbridge when not working on the Board of Supervisors, and fellow Board member Mike May said he might know a thing or two about marketing for business.

The Board of Supervisors in 2010 ordered a study on how the county could better market itself to businesses. One of the things that came of the study was the need for better branding, and to consolidate several different logos used in departments like parks and recreation, information technology, and economic development, under one symbol.

Elected officials, county government functions, and the police department will retain the use of the old-fashioned seal.

Prince William County Communications Director Jason Grant compared Prince Willaim’s new logo to similar logos used in Arlington and Sacramento, Calif., where a combination of official seals and graphic logos are used to represent the jurisdictions.

But longtime Prince William Board member John Jenkins said he doesn’t like the new logo, says it should have been up to members of the Board of Supervisors to ultimately approve the new look, and despite the fact it’s already in use, wants to suspend all future uses of the logo at least until the Board meets again June 4.

“Board should have made the decision on how to deploy the logo, even approve the logo,” said Jenkins.

Supervisors are expected to take up the discussion when they next meet.

“I, for one, feel we’ve already spent far more time than we needed to on this, and we need to move forward with a better marketing strategy,” said Nohe.

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  • Kristina

    Typically I like Supervisor Nohe, and definitely respect him as a county business owner, but when we’re cutting back on spending I don’t think we should all just shut up about a $10,000 box. Clearly this isn’t a better marketing strategy if it’s making citizens and supervisors fed up rather than fired up about PWC.

  • Johnny Slash

    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Always never quite right
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    I’d like it if they liked us, but I don’t think they like us
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    So tell me where’s the party, and how come we weren’t invited?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    One size does not fit all

    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Don’t wanna wear my glasses, I have to wear my glasses
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Why are we wearing this year what they were wearing last year?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Yeah, I’d be cuter without gum in my braces
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    I hope the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts

    She said that she was, but we know she isn’t
    And she said that she would, but he hasn’t asked her

    He did, and we know it
    But with whom, we can’t guess it

    And they think that we’re the
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Really funny…who broke the pi button on my calculator?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    May you be eternally grounded
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Me? Get juiced with the cool patrol?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Uh, no thanks, why do you think they call it beer?
    I mean, listen to him

    (sax solo)

    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Yeah know, our school colors should be black and blue
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Yeah, I mean no, huh? what?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    No, I don’t think I have a bad attitude, why?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Suspended? Suspended for what?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    But they told me it was Senior Wig Day
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Honest, I don’t even know how those worms got there
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    Now what would I do with 200 peanut butter cups?
    Square pegs, square pegs, square, square pegs
    One size does not fit all

  • http://www.bvbl.net/ Greg Letiecq

    “Move on?”

    So now Ol’ Marty is riffing Bill Clinton, except in this case it’s about wasting taxpayer dollars on stupid pictures of empty boxes that “don’t mean anything” (Thanks for that tidbit, Jason Grant) instead of committing adultery with chubby young interns.

    You wasted my tax dollars on abject stupidity, Mr. Nohe. Peacor exceeded her authority, lied to the board, you’re covering for her, and now you’re telling us to “move on.” I suppose the point of that would be to let this waste and stupidity stand.

    No, I don’t think so. I’ll be happy to “move on” to something else once you’re resigned from office, though. Yes, that’s a hint.

    • LoyaltoPWC

      Nohe is right. We should move on. This process started over a year ago and Grant tried his very best to build consensus. The first design company he hired created dozens of high quality professional logos but every single person he talked to gave him a different opinion. I think he decided to go with the boxes because he knew that no one would ever agree on one design that had “meaning.” When you are creating a logo for a county as big as PWC you are never going to make everyone happy. The boxes is a good compromise in my opinion. Making them start the process over would really be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

      • http://www.alborn.net Al Alborn

        I don’t think the community is ready to move on. If Mr. Grant worked so hard to build consensus, why were both the community and our elected official surprised?

        If rolled out correctly, the community might have even embraced this logo (although I wouldn’t have been one of those people). Quietly making its implementation a fiat accompli assuming no one would notice or care reflects certain hubris in Prince William County Government that makes citizens such as myself a bit uncomfortable.

        I’m with John Jenkins on this. Ms. Peacor should freeze implementation of this logo until the concerns of some of our Supervisors and the public are met, reconsider this particular choice, and perhaps restart the process with greater Community and Board input.

        If we keep the current logo, I have the slogan to go with it, “Prince William County! We stand for nothing!”

      • T Benton

        I have been a customer of Marty Nohe’s business for decades and pleased to always support him as my supervisor. He and I are usually of like minds on issues affecting the county but not this time. I still can’t believe our (any) money was spent for someone to come up with that boxy nondescript logo. I think they should have asked citizens to submit logo designs and then voted on a winner. Nothing like citizen input to make us feel part of the process which in this case was broken.

  • PWCTaxpayer

    Mr. Nohe, No one is disputing the need for a new logo but new logo design is horrible. It needs to go back to drawing board and come back with something that make sense. Arlington County & Sacramento County logos make sense but Prince William County’s new logo does not.

  • Bob

    I usually agree and like Nohe, but he is wrong here. This logo looks like junk and just because Grant over stepped his bounds and proved his arrogance doesnt mean we should just stick with it. Lets get a logo, but lets get some input

  • Janelle Anderson

    Why is their no author listed for this article? Who wrote this?

  • http://www.alborn.net Al Alborn

    OK… I gotta ask… Why is Prince William County represented as a “Blue” County? Someone subliminal going on here? I would think purple would be more appropriate; however, I’m surprised the majority of our current Board isn’t more interested in a “Red” logo. I’m just saying.., and guessing they didn’t notice.

    This is one of those small details that might save been noticed had this logo been properly vetted.

    Supervisors Jenkins & Principi… Sure you don’t like this one? :-)

  • Mosby McStuart

    Marty is right. Time to move on. While local bloggers are mired in the past, dreaming of interns, and trying to turn something into nothing, the PWC economic development office is attempting to move ahead in the 21st century.

    Logos aren’t supposed to be symbolic. They are for instant visual recognition to those who need to know. The Blue squares are not political. The sky is blue the water is blue. There, you have it.

    • Albert Allen

      It’s a shame that the Economic Development Office is leaving the community behind as they “move on” without our input. I’ll trust our Supervisors to sort this out. This will be one more thing on their report card when we sort them out in 2015.

  • Joe White, III

    Not why simply use “PWC” as new logo?

    • http://www.alborn.net Al Alborn

      I remember seeing white oval PWC stickers at the McCoart Administration Building. That would be a GREAT logo because we could put those stickers on everything! Cars, T-Shirts, signs, business cards, everything. It’s a logo we could be proud of. It also means something: Prince William County!

      Instant recognition, builds our brand, easy to turn into T-shirts, polo shirts, business cards. Something residents Re already proud enough of to put on their cars.

  • Mosby McStuart Jr.

    This has turned into a contest of wills between unelected bureaucrats who created the new logo, the folks we elected to represent us (at least, most of them), and the residents. The issue is really bigger the logo. It’s about who is in charge of Prince William County.

    Stay tuned to see who is in charge!

  • Will Pollard

    Yes but the board cannot micromanage every aspect of county government. They need to butt out and worry about more important things. Mr. Grant could be making triple his salary working in the private sector but he choses to share his gifts and talents with the residents of PWC. I say let the man do his job. He is a professional. You, my friends, are not.

    • Tom Fitzpatrick

      Butt out??? That should be the motto of “our” PWC government, as that is how they act. An amazing attitude.

  • PWCTaxpayer

    “Bring your big boxes here?” GreaterGreaterWashington.org

  • Mosby McStuart Jr.

    Sooooo… how does the County decide when to use the blue boxes, and when to use the County Seal? It there a policy? The blue boxes appear to be taking over.

    Harry Wiggens, Chairman of the local Democratic Party, must really enjoy the irony! I know he’s planning to turn Prince William County Blue, but probably didn’t expect staff help with the campaign.