Conveniently located on Interstate 64—so convenient that many just pass through unaware of the historical significance or world-altering innovation taking place at the end of each offramp—Newport News battled being overlooked and undervalued from outdated, insufficient, negative perceptions. The city wanted a brand identity that was as bold as they were. They had been so busy doing great things they hadn’t amplified and shared that with everyone else. Others framed the conversation about them. They wanted a brand that reflected the community: honest, authentic, and creative. And one that would break through the clutter of communication.
Newport News enjoys a diversity of people, opportunity, expertise, arts, cultures, and activities. The community has a strong legacy of innovation and industrial strength with the shipyards, working waterfront, and major manufacturers. It is the economic engine for the Peninsula with employers such as Jefferson Lab, Canon, Liebherr, and more. Where else can you build nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and smash atoms a few miles from each other? Although a significant job center, the community also benefits from a great quality of life with interesting neighborhoods and the largest municipal park east of the Mississippi River. Christopher Newport University is a significant advantage for the city, attracting young talent and celebrating the arts.
The suburban/urban city is centrally located in the Hampton Roads and Mid-Atlantic regions. Being here gives people a strong sense of community where they can be part of something larger than themselves. And often, the work and generosity of Newport News has an impact down the street and around the globe. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. All of this opportunity and great quality of life is set against the scenic backdrop of the James River, creating the perfect environment for the next big thing.
History may make some folks yawn. But Newport News needed a brand that could celebrate the promise of today and tomorrow AND showcase that it has always been innovating throughout American history. History is a proof point for the message that Newport News is the location for breakthroughs and discoveries, usually with global impact. The brand should remind folks that this is a place of great opportunity, but you don’t have to believe the messenger—just look at the historical record. We know you’ll be surprised and impressed.
Newport News has always been a bold city. From that storied history through today, breaking through obstacles and doing what others may see as impossible is an everyday occurrence in Newport News. Built on Breakthroughs captures that essence in a line and can easily be used to message breakthrough experiences and opportunities to all audiences whether community members, business leaders, visitors, or beyond.
The icon, while created by a stylized monogram, primarily symbolizes the nature and character of Newport News as an energetic city that is always reaching forward. The symbolic future is built by the dotted lines breaking out of the box made up of collective ideas coming together without regard for perceived limitations. This is paired with an all lowercase typeface with a friendly and welcoming feeling that is customized to deliver the unique personality of Newport News.
Visual elements deliver the idea behind the line that there are a variety of breakthroughs occurring in Newport News every day in both its design and headline structure. Torn paper gives the sense of breaking through to an adventure or opportunity and invites the viewer to “step into” the scene. The subjects are unbound by the barriers of the frame, giving a sense of depth and action.