Snohomish County, Washington
Tourism Branding Study
For those wanting to explore and pursue, between Seattle and Canada along I-5 and barely contained by Puget Sound and the Cascades, Snohomish County is where Seattle gets outside and opportunities open up.
Being a destination located just outside of one of the nation’s most well-known and desirable cities can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand there is the positive association of that geographic location; on the other hand there is the competitive association with that geographic location. Such was the case with Snohomish County, WA, situated 30 minutes north of Seattle. Snohomish County leaders were looking to tie together the region’s six very diverse asset categories into a brand identity that complemented the Seattle experience rather than competing with it . . . particularly important since the majority of Snohomish visitors hail from Seattle.
Even when you live in one of the world’s greatest cities, there is still the need to escape urban complexities. Wide open and naturally beautiful, Snohomish County offers Seattle residents – or any visitor – the opportunity to get outside both literally and figuratively. Get outside the city, get outside into some of the area’s greatest outdoor recreation, and get outside their own everyday lives. And all of the County’s assets – aviation, shopping, business/events, gaming, sports and outdoor recreation – support that idea. It turns out Snohomish County is not just a destination outside of Seattle. It is where Seattle goes to get outside.
The line “Open Up” embodies the essence of the strategy in a way that is both memorable and unique. It speaks to the wide open, undeveloped natural feel of the destination (in contrast to Seattle’s more urban congestion) and to the opportunities visitors have to open up to life. It is infinitely flexible and representative of all of Snohomish County’s diverse assets. Like the destination it represents, the logo is fresh, natural and uncluttered. The font feels young, active and fun with a nod to the native culture from which Snohomish County draws its name. The kerning on the strapline is quite open, visually supporting the meaning of the line. Breathtaking photography provides pleasing contrast between wide open spaces and up close shots of singular details in a scene (like the feet of a hiker or a hand holding a wine glass).