BRAND DEVELOPMENT | ANIMATION | WEB DESIGN | PHOTOGRAPHY


Huntsville/Madison County Chamber

A CHANGING CHAMBER

Huntsville, Alabama has long represented innovation and exploration. We’re a city that’s consistently named as one of our nation’s best. Innovation? Jobs? Quality of life? Economic development? Each is a question ‘Huntsville’ is the answer to.

Nestled somewhere between the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the unexplored horizons of Mars and beyond, Huntsville, Madison County, and many other communities in our metro area have a pioneers’ drive to press forward, go further, and reach higher.

In Huntsville, the sky is not the limit.

No one part of our story speaks louder than another. Our neighbors, our opportunities, our residents, our businesses, our leaders, our workforce, our students, and our dreams each do and always have writ their own chapter.

Our story, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville and Madison County’s story, is not only found in those chapters but also in the ones an advancing community has not yet written.

The Chamber of Commerce has always brought together an endless combination of resources, opportunities, seekers, and experiences to ensure we build the strongest engine possible to propel our community to the highest highs.

Wanting to better represent the diversity of the Chamber, its services, membership, and community, they hired Red Brick Strategies to evolve their brand to better fit a community that is ever-changing and always evolving.

THE PROCESS:

Red Brick gets Huntsville. It is Huntsville. Born here. Raised here. Growing here.

The Red Brick team collaborated closely with Chamber leadership on the new brand. The goal was to convey simplicity and modernity, while preserving the organization’s heritage and achievement. Ever mindful of growing businesses and creating new opportunities for North Alabama, increasingly the Chamber is speaking to a global audience. Economic Development on a global scale is a growing segment of the Chamber’s work, and it needed a brand identity that would help position our community as forward-thinking, people-centered, book smart, and future ready.

THE DESIGN:

The entire identity is built using the core elements found in the logo: geometry and color. A new set of graphic tools have been developed to help the Chamber communicate effectively in all media and in any environment. The tools consist of a distinctive color palette, a new typographic system, and pure graphic shapes with parameters that enable the creation of an infinite series of varied yet connected graphic patterns. In addition, custom icon sets, illustrations and photographic styles have been established to create a consistent visual system to express a wide range of messages.

One of the subtle changes was to, for the first time ever, include a direct reference to Madison County in the logo with a strong “M” being visible in numerous geometric elements, and as a visual cue to de-emphasize how the organization is no longer just one city’s civic organization, and will continue to grow and adapt as our community does the same. The uppercase typography is in line with the simple and modern approach, and allows for a consistent treatment in the division and program names.

 
 

The wordmark is set in the contemporary sans serif Future STD Bold. During its research, Red Brick looked back to wordmarks of Redstone Arsenal, Marshall Space Flight Center, various government offices, and more, which featured typography with a clean, direct structure. The new typography plays on the geometric forms of the mark.

Getting the seven main colors in the mark right was a challenge for the designers, requiring countless tests to find the perfect hues that would work successfully in every conceivable context. The logo needed to work on white backgrounds, black backgrounds, and different values in between. This meant that the colors had to be carefully calibrated, so they would stand out and not disappear, and have sufficient contrast from any element in between.

In the final mark, the color of the overlaps are both lighter and darker in areas that connect, suggesting that the elements are translucent, rather than solid, giving the brand a feeling of transparency.

THE RESULTS:

Formed by any number of geometric shapes and colors, the new logo represents both the Chamber itself and the full suite of the organization’s services, creating a single brand system for the entire organization as well as its existing and future areas. This replaces the previous, dated logo that limited itself to the City of Huntsville and a historic, but inactive era of America’s space program. The new brand mark will be used across every touchpoint of the Chamber’s brand, from the cards carried by employees, to signage, a new, responsive website, and more.

To create the new symbol, Red Brick isolated the brand’s elements to their purest form. The seven departments of the organization were each designated with a signature color. The elements’ overlapping forms effortlessly express the idea of connection, while the fully-formed primary mark suggests inclusiveness, diversity, and adaptability, key to the Chamber’s mission to “prepare, develop, and promote our community for economic growth.”

The new brand mark preserves and builds on the iconic foundation, providing a crisper look that has flexible configurations more suited for digital applications.

In contrast to the dim pallet in the existing brand, the new symbol uses an additive mix—the colors now produce a brighter, more vibrant impact. This projects an overall effect that is lighter and fresher, giving the symbol a subtle glow and a bolder, more optimistic feel.

That bold optimism, at its strongest when the elements form the primary “H” logo, connects to the history of the fearless explorations of our community’s first settlers, soldiers, and scientists, and the confidence of our area’s role in global economy.