Do travelers ever know what county they are in? Do they care? Visit Placer, a county-wide organization, faced the task of promoting more than 100 miles of natural playground with larger DMOs at each end of the county whose budgets dwarfed theirs. The first step was identifying an overarching distinction for a diverse destination followed by an uphill climb to bring interested parties together, some of whom didn’t see the need. And it just so happens that one of the world’s most famous destinations, Lake Tahoe, is in Placer County — certainly a great advantage, but there were some difficulties too. How could Visit Placer enhance North Lake Tahoe as well as other attractions in the County?
There is nowhere on earth with a spot as spectacular as Lake Tahoe. But that is just a great beginning to the fun, adventure, and relaxation in Placer County. Everywhere in the County offers breathtaking views, and there is an activity or vista for every part of the year. Placer County is where tense shoulders locked in a seemingly permanent shrug will relax. There are rewards at every turn — I-80 is the perfect off-ramp to adventure. Still, many of these experiences remain under the radar or are not identified as part of Placer County. Visit Placer needs to use its limited budget to partner with established organizers and category enthusiasts even outside the County to drive interest to the relaxed, accessible, comfortable opportunities in the area.
Placer County’s draw is for those seeking to breathe easy surrounded by breathtaking beauty. Stretching from Sacramento to Nevada across the Sierras, Placer County promises an adventure for every season from powder to palates. Bay Area travelers in particular should schedule a bit more time for their trip to Tahoe because there is so much more to do just off I-80.
North Star and Placer County developed creative tools to celebrate peak seasons, peak performances, and natural peaks found in Placer County. Something is always at its peak here. Implementation will focus on partnerships within the County among organizations and communities but also affinity groups across the West and beyond that will enjoy the Placer County experience.
The line “Life at its Peak” is an obvious nod to Tahoe but frames “Peak” primarily in its alternate sense of “best” or “ultimate.” It highlights the range of assets in Placer County. It is always peak season for something in Placer County: fun, wine, adventure, farm to table, etc. It can be modified with a lead-in to the line: “Placer County Sports…Life at its Peak.” Or it can describe different categories at their peak in Placer County: Adventure at its Peak, Flavor at its Peak, etc. The line can take the lead or be used as supportive language when used by other DMOs or individual communities across the County. And it speaks to the quality of life throughout the destination which makes it a great invitation for recruiting talent for economic development interests.
In the logo, symmetrical graphic mountains offer a nod to the terrain while conveying upward movement and ultimate experiences. The unique font was selected for its welcoming sense of personality and high legibility. The mark also contains several graphic elements that can be used in various configurations and as a graphic vocabulary throughout branded materials. This flexibility will make it easy for Visit Placer to use the county-wide message to reinforce the individual efforts of assets and attractions across the destination.
There are only a few counties that come to mind as recognizable destinations, and a majority of them are in California: Napa, Orange, Sonoma. Now there’s another one you should add to that list — Placer.