Frankfort, Kentucky

For people who appreciate the charm of history and the influx of new ideas, the capital city of Frankfort, beautifully balanced between Louisville and Lexington on the banks of the Kentucky River, is small but spirited—shaping and reflecting the nature of Kentucky so you enjoy cultural and civic sophistication on an intimate scale.
Community Wide, Economic Development
About This Project

Key Challenge

In Frankfort, state government is the talk of the town — left, right, and center. But Kentucky’s capital is so synonymous with politics that people often don’t take the time to discover the city’s many other charms. From nature to culture, many of Frankfort’s best features are rarely a part of the debate, so the city’s new brand had to strike a balance: recognizing Frankfort’s critical role as lawmaking center in a framework that downplays partisan divides and uplifts the city’s unifying essence.

Critical Insight

Frankfort is small but spirited. Its heritage, drive, and resilience — not to mention its accomplishments— belie its small size. Yes, important decisions are made here for all of Kentucky. But more importantly, the city reflects the character of the state in all of its assets—the Capitol building, bluegrass music, the Kentucky River, Daniel Boone, and Kentucky State University. It is also at the heart of the state — between the Cardinals and the Wildcats, between Keeneland and Churchill Downs. In short, Frankfort is like the small-batch bourbon produced within city limits — emblematic of the state of Kentucky and perfectly aged for unique taste.

Brand Identity

The realization that Frankfort represents the very essence of the state brought about the powerful idea of Kentucky Distilled. Short, clever, and intellectual, the line uses Kentucky’s hottest industry as a hook and lays claim to the Kentucky connection in a way that only its capital city can. Fittingly, Frankfort’s new logo mark distills the state of Kentucky into component shapes that form the state initials in the negative space. Contrast between the modern design and a traditional typeface—along with a slight distressing of rich, earthy colors — speaks to Frankfort’s dual role as a torchbearer and historic center.