Sumter has a new Image

When the seasons change we feel different.  Sometimes the world around us has a fresh more alive feeling.  I love it when the seasons change and we have an opportunity to experience the need to adapt.  It makes us all re-examine our world around us.  The Sumter community is embarking on something very similar as the seasons changing through a recent branding process. 

Sumter: Nov. 17, 2010 City officials unveiled a branding image Tuesday, an image borne out of the community pride in its sense of patriotism. 

The city’s logo which features the city’s name, a stylized wing and a slogan that reads, “Uncommon Patriotism” identifies the city’s pride and dedication to its military presence.

“It’s more about identifying ourselves as a community,” said Mayor Joe McElveen. “We know Sumter is a great place to live and we are just trying to convey that with a consistent message. It’s a lot more than just logo.”

In September, the City of Sumter hired Greenville-based branding company Arnett & Muldrow to create an image that captured the spirit of the community.  After meeting with more than 100 Sumter residents, the consultants noticed two recurring themes: that of a strong pride in the military heritage of the city and a community wide underpinning of an avian motif.

“We wanted an image that Sumter residents could identify with, not just a logo that boasts our assets,” said City Manager Deron McCormick.

The logo a wing graphically inspired by a recently installed wing sculpture called “Recovery” by Grainger McKoy that resonates with the city’s bird imagery. It also gives a nod to the city’s namesake, the Fighting Gamecock Gen. Thomas Sumter, the iconic swans that live in Swan Lake, as well as the Shaw Air Force Base – home to the 9th Air Force, the 20th Fighter Wing and the 3rd Army.

The color palette of the image comes directly from the city itself: the red is the same color as the brick sidewalks in the downtown area; the sandstone orange was taken directly from the exterior of the historic Opera House; and the deep blue acknowledges the military installment which is the backbone of the Sumter community.

Along with the new image, the City of Sumter has also adopted a branding statement to further pride in its city:

We were born of backcountry settlements where early patriots fought for our nation’s freedom.  We were named for Thomas Sumter, the fighting Gamecock of the American Revolution. Even today the heroes of our community stand at the ready to defend our country. We embrace our friends and neighbors of the Air Force and Army who work every day to make America safe.

We are a community of connections where deep family roots combine with a welcoming spirit. We are the perfect combination of small town warmth and city amenities. We celebrate the simple beauty of a stunning rural landscape, of a swan gliding across our storied gardens, of a clock tower standing sentinel over our historic and revitalizing downtown.

We have a proud past and play an important role on the world stage. Yet, we look to the future with ambitious goals to provide the best for our children, to constantly improve our community, and to foster ongoing success.

We are Sumter, South Carolina.

Uncommon Patriotism,

Progressive Spirit.

As it moves forward in the branding process, City officials plan to implement the image mostly on an as-needed basis.

“We want to be good stewards of this image, meaning we want it to be as effective as it can be,” said McCormick. “With that said, we aren’t revamping everything simply because we now have this image. We will phase the image in throughout the next couple of years in a way that is fiscally responsible.”

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