Lake Bluff, Illinois
Community Branding Study
For those who prize experiences over extravagance, Lake Bluff’s small size, unpretentious charm and easygoing spirit set it apart even in prestigious company, so you spend life laughing with the Joneses, not keeping up with them.
The prestigious communities of Chicago’s North Shore are all considered extraordinarily desirable places to live. But if you’re one of the tiniest jewels in this Illinois crown, name recognition may be low amongst outsiders considering the North Shore as a place to live. Such was the case with the small village of Lake Bluff. Chicago residents mentally included Lake Bluff as part of its larger, flashier, better-known neighbor Lake Forest. The challenge: Identify yourself with the prestigious North Shore, even as you develop a brand that helps you stand out among the Shore’s communities.
Lake Bluff has the charm, elegance, education and affluence that define the North Shore. But these are not necessarily the attributes Lake Bluffians focus on. It is possible to spend an afternoon with a multi- millionaire and never know it. A sense of humor is a must. Experiencing life is more important than collecting extravagances. There is no time like the present to have a laugh, a party, a festival or a drink. Dogs are revered, and so are friends, neighbors and family. And all are welcome. Turns out that even when you live on the North Shore, a sense of humor and a sense of belonging are still worth their weight in gold.
Because Lake Bluff had such low awareness outside the North Shore, it was critical the Village’s brand be different and compelling. It needed to stand out amongst a number of sophisticated high-end community brands. It also needed to convey the warmth, humor and sense of family and belonging that define Lake Bluff, even as it identified it with the North Shore. The line “North Shore Life. Lake Bluff Style.” identifies Lake Bluff as being one of the communities offering the North Shore experience but with its own unique style. The line sets up endless opportunities to showcase that style. The bold, block-like illustration is both memorable and whimsical while the graphic of the dog and boy can be lifted from the logo for use as an icon on merchandise and signage.