Santee, California

For those wanting a close-knit community and wide-open opportunity, Santee, hugged by natural beauty along Santee Lakes and Mission Trails Park, gives Southern California a new, strong point of connection affording families the freedom to live their aspirations.
Community Wide
About This Project

Key Challenge

Santee has spent decades surprising newcomers that ventured its way. But many in San Diego County were still completely unaware or just thought of it as the far East as in way inland, way far away, Santee found that old perceptions and expectations live long when inland communities only face inward. But talk to many newcomers to Santee over the last few decades and you will hear pride knowing that they got in on the secret here. Their message to others (with a subtle poke at their previous communities along the oceanfront) is that you don’t just coast in Santee, you thrive.

Critical Insight

Some described it as a 20-minute city meaning you can be almost anywhere in 20 minutes (unless at the peak of San Diego rush hour). The beach, downtown, the desert, the mountains, you name it. So not that far really. What Santee has done quietly on its side of the county is create a close-knit, welcoming community where people can engage with their neighbors. The ability to connect with family, friends, and neighbors without sacrificing economic or leisure opportunities makes the affordable, scenic location attractive.

Brand Identity

North Star recommended focusing on young professionals and families with active lifestyles seeking a sense of community and belonging without giving up the best of Southern California and the freedom to chase their aspirations. The community’s 40th anniversary provided a great vehicle for reaching those along the coast and throughout Southern California.

Creative tools needed to identify, invite and introduce Santee to people who thought East County meant almost Arizona, which was a lot for creative elements to do effectively and succinctly. The logo successfully communicates forward momentum, personality, a welcoming nature, and the scenic inland experience. The “Do More. Due East.” line is memorable with consonance and rhythmic sounds. It tells audiences that there is a lot more in Santee than they may know and broadly challenges the low expectations some have of East County communities. The tone tells audiences they can do more with their families and their finances here, connecting access with affordability