Visit Oxnard’s new logo goes from bureaucratic to bold and bubbly to match the destination

by: Amy Blasco

A brand’s logo is typically its most visible and memorable element. The majority of adults—and even preschoolers—can instantly identify a business or organization by its logo, even if the name isn’t part of the design (think: Nike, Coca-cola, Disney). Also, your logo is often the first thing potential customers notice about your business, so it definitely needs to make a good first impression.

The Verdin creative team embraced this challenge when they rebranded and designed a new logo for Visit Oxnard, formerly known as the Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The client’s goals for the rebrand included introducing new visitors to the city, increasing overnight stays and changing old, negative perceptions of the city. To accomplish these goals, our team met with Visit Oxnard’s leaders and led them through an activity that results in a selection of six words that best described their city. This exercise is part of the proprietary Verdin 360 marketing process. We use these unique words as a touchstone when creating all of a client’s campaigns and collateral.

Oxnard’s six words are: multi-faceted, surprising, adventurous, approachable, vintage and laid-back. Using these words as inspiration, our creative team created a mood board of images and started designing.

Before partnering with Verdin, Visit Oxnard was using a popular, free font called Monoton as their sort of unofficial brand—and they loved it. They felt their official logo was dated and didn’t accurately depict their city. But using a free font means it’s one that is used for a multitude of organizations. This created a challenge for our design team because we wanted to create a logo that was uniquely Oxnard. The client also wanted the logo to be in all caps and to have letters with lots of personality and movement.

With that in mind, Art Director Megan Condict and Graphic Designer Katie Pedersen worked together to create a bold, new identity that also pays homage to Oxnard’s diverse attractions and laid-back, vintage culture.

Katie found a thin, sans serif font online and used Adobe InDesign to extend the legs of the “X” and “R.” Drawing inspiration from the sun sinking into the ocean, she cut the word Oxnard in half with a horizontal line. This created an opportunity to make the colorized logo two-toned, which gives it a fun, nostalgic feel. Similarly, the overall color palette uses warm “sun” and cool “water” tones mixed in with some vintage pastels (avocado, anyone?)

The sheer number of colors in the palette gives Visit Oxnard a range of options as diverse as its population, including a sophisticated rainbow treatment for Pride Month.

Chelsea Modlin, Visit Oxnard’s account manager, told the rest of the Verdin team that the client was thrilled with the result: “They loved it. They told me they didn’t think they could love anything as much as the Monoton logo until they saw the new one.”

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