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September 8th, 2010
City Council adopts new San Marcos community brand


The San Marcos City Council voted unanimously to adopt a community brand Tuesday effective September 21 to help market San Marcos for economic development, tourism, community organizations, activities and special events.

Adoption of the new brand was recommended by a nine-member Branding Task Force, appointed by the City Council in November of last year.

The new logo features the San Marcos name in a customized font in red, gradient blue and green letters. A shape of the state of Texas is included in the center of the “O.” The “M” is shaped like a waterfall, depicting Rio Vista Falls on the San Marcos River. The tagline “We’d love your company” represents the inviting qualities of one of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas, in the fifth fastest growing county in the nation.

“This brand is the result of 10 months of hard work by the Branding Task Force and our consultants, Hahn, Texas and KGB Texas,” said Pam Couch, the branding task force’s chair. “We believe it will be a great asset to the City of San Marcos, the Convention and Visitor Bureau, our Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development, Main Street and the Historic Downtown, civic organizations and businesses in promoting their activities and marketing San Marcos.”

Serving on the Branding Task Force with Chair Couch were Mayor Susan Narvaiz; Hays County Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe; city council members Kim Porterfield and Chris Jones (as alternates); Stan Woody, publisher of the San Marcos Daily Record; Donna Hill, former chair of the Economic Development Council; Joel Williams, Chair of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce; Kelly Franks, Main Street Manager; and Melani Ferrari, Associated Student Government President at Texas State University.

The project included extensive research of both San Marcos and cities from across the nation with similar attributes. The work also included an analysis of media and social media coverage, demographic and stakeholder research, an online survey, in-depth interviews and input from key community stakeholders and the public. That research influenced creative development of the logo and tagline.

The task force reviewed numerous concepts before agreeing on the final recommendation, presented to the city council Tuesday night.

In addition to the research and creative work, the consultants are also providing a launch plan, marketing and communications plan, and a brand standards guide for print, web, broadcast and signage.

The branding project was funded by the city council with funds saved over several years from the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund revenues.

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7 thoughts on “City Council adopts new San Marcos community brand

  1. I’m sorry, but this blows… the colors are boring, the font style (art deco?) has nothing to do with San Marcos, and the “waterfall” is way too subtle. Even the slogan is weak… it should read, “We love your company!”

    Very disappointing…

  2. It is hard to miss the double meaning in the tagline – “We’d love your company.” It represents more than praising “the inviting qualities of one of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas, in the fifth fastest growing county in the nation.” It also means we’d also like to give your company some taxpayer money to come here and set up shop.

    Susan Narvaiz, as she is preparing to leave office, has stuck the city with the indelible image of one of the biggest, most foolish suckers in the municipal race for which city can squander the most taxpayer money on companies offering mostly low-paying jobs. And this includes companies that would have come here without receiving a penny of taxpayer funding. Economic development is such a fun game for the politicians.

  3. This logo should have been the first iteration towards a great identity. From the looks of it, the typography was created by someone who doesn’t understand accuracy or the systemic process needed for custom typography. I appreciate and enjoy the concept driving the identity but don’t believe it achieved its potential.

  4. When I was a kid in the 1960s, Gary Indiana did this. They branded Gary as a city on the move. Boy, they were right. Everybody was moving out. Desirable cities don’t do this sort of thing. Boulder doesn’t have a brand. Neither does Tucson or a thousand other places people want to go. I used to love San Marcos, but city council is inept from the silly banners on Wonder World Drive to this. The game seems to be how to blow the most money on things that offer no return. Idiots.

  5. Actually, Tucson appears to have a logo and a tag line: “Real. Natural. Arizona.” Interesting similarity there.

    I’m not sure that a sample size of two is valid anyway.

    New York City appears to have a logo, along with the tag lines “always open” and the timeless I *heart* NY,” which they have used for decades.

  6. That is quite possibly the worst logo I’ve ever seen. And there are a lot of really bad logos out there.

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