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Standing out is focus of new branding

Williamsburg County Economic Development Board has a new face – a brand actually.  The rebranding was initiated after county government consolidated to have all departments on the same web platform. According to WCEDB Executive Director Gilleon J. Frieson, they did not own the intellectual property rights of the logo created by the previous website company. That may have been a good thing because it gave one employee a chance to shine. “We didn’t have the budgetary ability to purchase the old logo, so I asked D’Asia to create one,” said Frieson.

D’Asia Green is WCEDB Marketing Director and once given the task she set out to create something that would represent both the county and the WCEDB. “​I played with a few ideas while trying to figure out if I wanted to do something completely different or not,” said Green, who has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina. She Googled images of other logos while keeping in mind what made the county unique. “In the end, I chose to capitalize off of whatever recognition we already had with the old logo,” she said. “I kept a similar shape and stayed in the same color family. However, I chose what I consider to be deeper variants of the colors.”

She highlighted the letters “I,” “A” and “M” in Williamsburg to create an interpersonal encryption: I AM Williamsburg. “I think it was 2019, when Gilleon started playing around with the idea of getting items with “WillIAMsburg” ​stylized on them in some way,” said Green. “The county was already using #WeAreWilliamsburg on their posts, but he noticed “I Am” was in the center and wanted to find a way to use it. So, when the opportunity came to create the new logo, I decided to incorporate it.”

Green said New York’s “I    NY” logo also was an inspiration. “Though we’re not as well-known as they are, yet, I figured that if nothing else, our logo could create a sense of pride within the community and be memorable to prospects and visitors just by the stylization of the name.”

The logo also features the geographical silhouette of Williamsburg County in the center. The initial symbol had a circle where the cutout of the county is, but Green felt it was missing something. “I decided to use the cutout to give it a more personal touch, and I figured that once people saw it enough, they’d be able to pick us out on the map,” she said. “There’s nothing like trying to figure out where we are on the map during hurricane season.” She sent both designs to her boss, a colleague at North Eastern  Strategic Alliance (NESA), her best friend, who is a marketer, and a family member. “The cutout won.”

Economic developers market their perspective geographical assignments to attract businesses and industries. Infrastructure, workforce, education and quality of life are just a few things companies consider while shopping for a new location.

Frieson has been re-establishing relationships with existing industries, as well as trying to recruit new ones. “WCEDB has been increasingly cultivating partnerships and has established a powerful network with several agencies, entities, and organizations,” he said. “We are ensuring our foundation is strong to support the future success we desire.”