Update: here is the presentation, where you can see the logo.
The Lake Highlands Public Improvement District’s branding committee, along with heads of the design firm One Fast Buffalo, spent about an hour Sunday evening sharing the revised Lake Highlands brand and logo.
Together the groups spent a couple of years conducting research, writing a brand story and designing a logo.
They presented a logo a few months ago, and some of the more outspoken members of the community voiced objection — some felt left out of the process; others hated the colors and some were simply confounded, despite attempts to explain the brand and how they arrived at it.
So the committee and the design firm went back to the drawing board, taking into consideration both the previous research and the more-recent feedback.
One Fast Buffalo founder Ben Jenkins, a 1991 Lake Highlands High School graduate, said, following the first presentation, that a lack of context for the logo was probably to blame for some of the negative feedback.
This has been said so many times and in so many ways, I do not know that saying it one more time will help, but, the new logo and brand is for the Lake Highlands neighborhood — all of it: the Skillman corridor, the homeowners who don’t have kids and who did not attend the high school, the renters of apartments and condominiums, the owners of businesses, the nonprofits and churches and clubs and leagues, the homeowners whose children are in private schools or at a magnet school that is not LHHS, to name a few. So, no, it will not affect the LHHS logo and it will not appear on the football helmets.
Many of the unhappy commenters that first go-round seemed to believe the rebranding was related to Lake Highlands High School, so, yes, misunderstanding and a lack of context obviously was part of the problem.
So, after redoing the logo, Jenkins and his team, and the branding committee, held Sunday’s meeting to give context to the newest iteration of the brand and logo.
I attended the meeting. It was impressive. The branding experts explained their process — they conducted a survey and received feedback from about 1,500 Lake Highlands residents and/or former LH residents concerning perception of our neighborhood.
They explained the importance of avoiding “lukewarm branding,” which is a brand and logo with which everyone might be OK, but which isn’t really unique or exciting. Any good logo and brand is going to inevitably be polarizing.
They presented the “brand story,” which I will share below. The brand story is the warm and fuzzy literary summarization of the ton of clinical data collected from surveys.
They explained the benefits to the local economy of having a community or neighborhood brand. All of the aforementioned will be available in the next few days via a video of the meeting, in full.
Even with an hour’s worth of context, however, someone at the meeting asked Jenkins if the new logo would be on the LHHS football uniforms …
OK. This has been said so many times and in so many ways, I do not know that saying it one more time will help, but, here we go: the new logo and brand is for the Lake Highlands neighborhood — all of it: the Skillman corridor, the homeowners who don’t have kids and who did not attend the high school, the renters of apartments and condominiums, the owners of businesses, the organizations and nonprofits and churches and leagues and clubs, the homeowners whose children are in private schools or at a magnet school that is not LHHS, to name a few. So, no, it will not affect the LHHS logo and it will not appear on any football helmets.
Those who did not attend the meeting are in some cases even more confused, and some of them are not even asking questions but rather just voicing misinformed complaints. Case in point, after the meeting, I posted the newly revealed logo on Facebook along with the status “Here is the latest iteration of the Lake Highlands logo. Look for the full brand story on the Lake Highlands Advocate blog soon.” Some of the first comments queried why anyone would want to change the “classic” “traditional” Lake Highlands (high school) logo. Answer (again): They do not.
My posting of the image without the full context seemed to perpetuate the confusion, plus my photo takes from a projector image in a dark room were particularly awful, so for those reasons, I am not going to post the new logo (of course, you can still find it on our Facebook page) but rather I will post the image and the logo when we have the official file and the full video from Sunday’s presentation.
The Advocate wants to disseminate information as quickly as possible, but we also want to give the branding committee a fair shot at getting their message to the neighborhood; based on the initial Facebook interaction it seems that by presenting this piecemeal we seem to get a deluge of negative commentary before the committee/designers have a chance to deliver the branding campaign’s purpose, process and product in its entirety.
They still might get negative feedback — and as I told Jenkins, the people with the most prolific and bitter complaints still will knee-jerk comment based on a headline and a photo and not bother to read the story or attempt to understand the meaning of the overall principal of branding. Still, it would be great to see at least our Lake Highlands Advocate readers take time to absorb all the information — gain an understanding of the the whys, whats and hows — before they voice an opinion. It also would be encouraging if readers would keep in mind that the creators of the brand and logo are neighborhood residents who are either hardworking volunteers or professionals giving their best effort to this project.
Below is the Lake Highlands Brand Story, as presented by One Fast Buffalo. The brand story is based on the data collected from aforementioned surveys. The logo, Jenkins says, is supposed to complement the brand story. It is not a literal interpretation of it, but a complementary illustration. Here y’ go:
Lake Highlands is a wooded refuge within the city of Dallas with hometown charm. The traditions of Friday Night Football games and sunny afternoons with kids in the front yard is no accident. The generations of people who have called Lake Highlands home work together every day to keep the neighborhood charm and build new places to make memories for their children. We are people who live in the city, want our kids to have a real world perspective and still know the local barber. In Lake Highlands people have more than just their plot of land; they are part of a proud collective sharing their lives with each other and fostering their community It stands as proof a small town still exists in Dallas. But we are in no way behind the times. While rooted in traditions we have more to offer; we work hard to prepare our youth to go out into the world and lead, create, inspire and serve as positive role models for future generations. We are not the type of people to wait around for good things to come our way. Generation after generation, we put in the work ourselves to make tomorrow better.