City of Columbia Unveils New Identity: Together, We Are Columbia

April 19, 2024

The City of Columbia, S.C. unveiled a new brand identity this week to instill a better sense of community pride and optimism. Prior to now, Columbia had used the city seal, first created in 1912, as its logo.

Last year, Columbia officials recognized the need to better showcase Soda City attributes to move the city forward. They embarked on a nine-month journey to define the city in a more significant way for both current residents and future development.

South Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, thanks to its warm weather and hot economic climate. Employment is projected to grow 12 percent with a gain of 263,000 new jobs by 2030 according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

“We want to ensure Columbia continues to attract businesses and talent, while maintaining its rich sense of character, culture and quality of life,” said Mayor Daniel J. Rickenmann. “This means thinking about the city not just as a place, but as a brand worth building and promoting.”

The City engaged S.C. based marketing and communications agency Crawford to evaluate the brand through a series of workshops and audits. This helped inform the refreshed strategic direction and tagline Together, We Are Columbia., logo redesign and brand guidelines to create a more consistent and identifiable brand.

In total, the city paid $69,300 for this work. By comparison, the City of Franklin Wis., a Milwaukee suburb, spent $81,500 on their new logo in 2019 and North Carolina’s capitol Raleigh, spent a reported $226,000 on their logo in 2017.

In addition, work has also been performed for an Economic Development pitchbook, outreach for national media coverage, social media content development, and creative support which includes graphic design/image enhancement. Crawford will continue to provide communications and marketing services throughout the implementation of the new brand strategy process.

The new logo pays homage to Columbia’s rich heritage and promising future. Drawing inspiration from the South Carolina State Flag and the prominent letter “C,” the design incorporates elements that represent the capital city’s unique identity. Additionally, the depiction of the three rivers—Broad River, Saluda River, and Congaree River—accentuate the city’s geographical significance and natural beauty.

“We believe that this new look not only captures the essence of Columbia but also reinforces our commitment to progress and innovation,” said Teresa Wilson, City Manager. “It is a testament to our collective aspirations for the future.”

The roll-out of the City’s new look will begin in April 2024 and will be implemented across all departments, communication materials, signage, properties, and merchandise.

View the logo announcement video Here.