We are finally realizing the fruits of a labor that’s been about 14 months in the making. To recap, since May of 2013, the branding initiative has:
• Made three presentations to the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council, and received the vote of support in October 2013;
• Made one presentation and a follow-up to the S-T Chamber of Commerce, and received the vote of support in August 2013;
• Took two meetings with the Rotary Club;
• Launched a community wide logo contest;
• Published 4 articles in the North Valley Reporter, Voice of the Village, Crescenta Valley Weekly, and Glendale News Press, as well as press releases on PRBuzz;
• Socialized the branding and contest on all the Facebook pages associated with S-T;
• Distributed printed flyers throughout our town including at Sunland Park, Angeles Golf Club, and Von’s checkouts;
• Posted a branding survey, plus all associated communications re: the branding (including video whenever available), along with the online logo contest voting in the Community Outreach section of the STNC’s website stnc.org; and
• Held a Town Hall just this past May.
And with the logo contest officially closing on June 20, 2014, we have a clear winner. Of the 349 votes cast, 123 of them were for the design featuring our bridge with the mountains in the background, submitted by local artist Damian Valentine Mayek.
“One of our favorite things to do from time to time is go up to the landing overlooking the Big Tujunga Dam and watch the sunset,” said Mayek who along with long-time girlfriend Sarah Blum has been calling Tujunga home for the past ten years. “The beauty of the Angeles National Forest is really what gave me the inspiration for the logo. We’ve really set down deep roots in the area, and just love it. Its rich history, its country living feel, it’s just close enough (and just far away enough) from the rat race of the big city, the picturesque beauty that exists in nearly every direction you look, the sense of community among the residents: It is my HOME!”
Nearly two dozen logos were submitted to the competition, and all were featured and celebrated during the Fourth of July Parade. A special thank you to all the artists who will be invited to an upcoming STNC meeting to honor them: Raymond Barrios, Amelia Brooks, Nicolas Corsini, Milan Debert, Sharon Evans, Isabella Ghazarian, Tanya Graziana, Shereen Hadid, Ismael Jacobo, Diana Lupercio, Arlene Madrid, Nico Photo, Rex Pieper, Alvaro Rosales, and Izzy Garcia, our youngest artist to submit.
The three most voted for logos included the one submitted by Rex Pieper (featuring the Cairn) with 53 votes, followed by the one submitted by Arlene Madrid (featuring the peak and wave) with 49 votes.
These three logo designs were then shared for review with our panel of judges (Linda Martinez, VP, Rights & Clearances, Business Affairs for Universal Studios Home Entertainment and a mom from Our Lady of Lourdes School; Barry Wiggins, the owner of the artistically famous Hobbit House at Commerce and Apperson; Dave Robertson who is a former resident and Verdugo Hills High School graduate made good with an extensive executive marketing & economics background; Deb Goodale who is the owner of the Back Door Bakery and a major part of our community and forward-thinking small biz marketing; and Kentoku Eda who manages the Angeles Golf Club and by name alone is a mutually beneficial tie-in to the Angeles Gateway branding; and Nina Macaraig, who at 17-years old is the Chair of the STNC’s youth committee and who represents S-T’s future). It was agreed that given the number of votes cast for the forerunning logo, that popular vote would prevail.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had a logo contest for our brand,” said Marlene Hitt, the first poet laureate of Sunland-Tujunga and a town council member. “But in 1974, the logo wasn’t chosen by popular vote like today’s winning logo. Eleven judges selected from 188 entries and chose the ‘Showplace of the Chaparral’ logo which still is displayed in the fireplace at Bolton Hall, and that is used as the Chamber of Commerce’s official logo.”
The rich history that belongs to Sunland-Tujunga and that is depicted in the old logo will remain in its place of honor. So much of what our town does have to offer is due to those who came before us and who worked to improve our community. We purposely are not changing, destroying, or even altering our history. Rather, we’ll be able to tell our story better now through a brand and logo that takes advantage of today’s digital options.
Our new brand and logo also takes into account where Sunland-Tujunga is today in terms of community improvement needs, budget, and participation. With the benefit of the Internet and global searches, leveraging our proximity to the Angeles National Forest is believed to be a more immediate and cost-effective means of building awareness about Sunland-Tujunga, by a) attracting the estimated 3 to 5 million visitors already on their way to the Angeles National Forest, b) getting the attention of quality businesses, restaurants, and families looking for a place to call home, and c) leveraging existing marketing platforms already associated with the national icon. In addition, the new logo embraces not only our rural environment but does so in a way that artistically combines both an old-world and modernly hip feel.
“I just love the new logo,” said Sunland-Tujunga resident Sabrina Godinez. “It looks so today, but still has that funky feel that matches who we are. It’s something I can see on t-shirts and bags, and something I think younger people and more senior people both would wear.”
Thanks to the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council, 3,000 cars will be “wearing” the new branded logo with the distribution of FREE removable bumper stickers that took place during the Fourth of July festivities. (Special thanks to Sunland Printing who rushed the order!) All a part of the combined community effort to further promote the town.
“As far as what I hope for the branding and my participation in it…?” said logo contest winner Mayek who also designed the Rattler’s restaurant logo. “I hope that my design makes people interested in coming to our community and exploring all it has to offer. Basically, God gave me the talent, it’s my job to give back and share with others what he has blessed me with. I just hope people like the new logo/brand, and I’m glad I could offer something back to the community that has given me a home and so much joy!”
Information on the branding initiative, including viewing all the logos, is available on www.stnc.org.