Responses by Jeff Strahl, creative director and Sarah Berkheimer, design director, Cactus
Background: Washington County, Utah, is not only home to Zion National Park, the fourth most visited national park in the country, but also home to many other beautiful state parks, national conservation areas and communities that don’t get the same attention. Visitors come, breeze through Zion and check it off of their list. They don’t stay and explore Washington County because they’re unaware of the stunning beauty and adventure that surrounds them. Washington County doesn’t have a visitation problem; it has a distribution problem.
Reasoning: It was clear that we had to move away from the name Washington County and lean into Zion, but we couldn’t make it the hero. We had to create a platform big enough for the rest of the county to have a voice, so, we introduced the name, Greater Zion. With this name, we were not only able to capitalize on the equity of the world-renowned national park, but also give context and a unified voice to the communities within the county. It allows us to celebrate the area’s diverse tourism offerings, spread visitation throughout the region and entice visitors to stay longer.
Challenges: Developing a name and identity that was both neutral and compelling. The name and logo couldn’t be too specific to any one community, park or activity, but it needed to appeal to a variety of different entities that had not previously existed together as one brand. Once we had internal support for the name, we created a modern, minimal mark that could be used to unite several interests as a singular, iconic brand.
Favorite details: Our clients are not just the lovely people at the Tourism Office; they’re the entire population of Washington County. And it’s quite an accomplishment when you can get consensus on a powerful name from that many invested parties. We’re also proud of the flexibility of the mark as a frame that allows it to go beyond just an icon in the corner of a layout, and serve as an integral part of the art direction, as a vessel that highlights the variety of content that makes Greater Zion special. The logo also does some subliminal education while looking pretty. The “frame” of the logo is the shape of Utah and the typography is in the Southwest corner, where Greater Zion is located.
Visual influences: Nature and the landscape drove the process. We explored several logo options inspired by the natural aspects of the area—geology, flora, sun, sky, water and wildlife. But, ultimately versatility and simplicity fueled the final solution because it had to represent such a wide variety of interests, entities and locations.