Broken Bow, Nebraska
City Branding Study
For those who see what needs to be done and do it, Broken Bow in the beautiful sandhills of central Nebraska, is where a small town, get-it-done attitude reaches the world so you can enjoy being a modern-day homesteader and a pioneer in one place.
Broken Bow is not a place where whiners or fiscal irresponsibility are welcome. This small town has a proud agricultural heritage that keeps the community grounded but strong planning and a get it done attitude have given the town wings to soar (even as other cities are failing). The challenge was determining how much emphasis to place on the town’s prominent agricultural past in order to attract and retain the young folks who are the lifeblood of growing communities. Add to that a really distinct name that doesn’t really relate to that storied past. How best to blend these assets for the perfectly balanced brand?
Turns out Broken Bow’s young people are just as proud of the town’s past as the old timers who have lived there all their lives. Attributes like volunteerism, being debt free, connecting with the earth, higher education and cutting edge health care have huge appeal for younger generations who want to live in a place where they can both succeed and be an integral part of a community.
The line “Rooted. But Not Standing Still” perfectly balances the town’s grounded past and forward thinking present and future. It is combined with a logo that also emphasizes that balance. The shape of the logo is reminiscent of authentic signage one might see on a shop or farm. A simple stylized arrowhead does double duty: it gives a subtle nod to the community name without being too expected and it also represents the progressive mindset that defines the community. Attention-grabbing pops of color on the arrow inject surprise and vibrancy into a palette balanced by earth tones. Compelling photography of residents takes center stage in the look which is all about presenting progress in the context of America’s backbone, a small agricultural town.