Could a logo unite an entire region?
That's the aim of "Lake Norman The Great Lake," a marketing logo, catchphrase and strategy unveiled March 9 to elected officials from Lake Norman's four towns.
"It has some catch to it, appeal to it," said Ned Flemming, a longtime Lake Norman resident and president of Cornelius-based Boomtown Advertising who developed the logo. "It's disarmingly simple."
The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce has copyrighted the logo and phrase and secured the domain names "TheGreatLake.biz, .org and .net," President Bill Russell said.
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The Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce, other groups that promote the region, and the towns of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville also would be welcome to use the logo.
The business groups and governments could use the phrase on billboards, coffee mugs, license plates, T-shirts, flags, beach towels and other promotional ventures. Each group or government could include its contact phone number and website address beneath the catchphrase.
"It's a consistent message that all can tie into," said Karen Shore, president and CEO of the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce.
Flemming also came up with various other phrases that could be included with the logo in marketing the towns, such as "What a beautiful place to make a buck. What a beautiful place to spend it."
Other catchphrases: "At Lake Norman, the catch of the day is the day," "Quality of Life: It's one of Lake Norman's biggest lures," and, in reference to the thousands of transplants from other parts of the country and world who now live at Lake Norman, "They came, they thawed, they thrived."
Russell and Flemming unveiled the logo at a meeting in Mooresville of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission, which includes elected officials, town managers, town transportation planners and chamber of commerce leaders from the four communities.
Branding the lake region grew out of recommendations in a study by the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C., Russell said.
"The lake is one thing that really ties our communities together," Russell said at the gathering. "We're all one big community, and the Denver side (of the lake) as well."
Residents don't see the Lake Norman region in terms of official town boundaries, Russell said. "Folks who live here don't see those boundaries," he said.
Cornelius commissioner Jim Bensman told the group he thinks the word "region" should be included in the logo. He also asked whether the logo would prompt any confusion with the Great Lakes.
"In my opinion, no," Flemming replied, mentioning how the name "Lake Norman" is prominent in the logo.
Commission members said they planned to study the logo and related catchphrases in more detail at a future meeting.