Library art class contributes artwork to county’s rebranding effort

Published 12:10 am Friday, March 20, 2015

Rowan County is turning to its youngest generation to gather logo ideas.

As part of Emma’s Easel art classes at the East Branch of the Rowan County Public Library, a group of several young children came up with their best impressions of what Rowan’s logo should look like. Some of the features on the logos created during the art class included a horse, bird, bear and a shield that includes a cross and trees.

The class is aptly named after its organizer, Emma Rose, who works at the library’s branch in Rockwell. The Emma’s Easel class is held on Thursdays at 4 p.m. Rose said she usually plans crafts created in the class around seasons or holidays, but this week turned to her class for logo ideas as a part of Rowan County government’s rebranding.

In mid-Feburary, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners approved a rebranding effort that’s paid for through the Tourism and Development Authority. In addition to coming up with an overall logo, the effort will also create letterheads, county business cards and a website design. Rose said she first learned of the effort when County Manager Aaron Church talked about rebranding during a library department meeting.

“It kind of started the idea that we could contribute and show our patriotism for Rowan County,” Rose said about Church’s presentation. “The class can also learn a little bit about graphic design and what goes into logos.”

In this week’s class, Rose started off by showing a slide filled with company logos with text removed. The children in the class easily picked out several of the logos. Then, Rose changed to Rowan county’s seal with text whited out. The children were silent and Rose invited the class to come up with its own ideas about objects that represent Rowan.

Five-year-old Brooklyn Griggs started by drawing her own logo, but later decided to add onto a logo that her father David Griggs was sketching. Brooklyn’s father’s logo had the Yadkin River as a large part of the image. Brooklyn’s contribution to her father’s drawing was a large pony.

Brooklyn said the pony was an important addition to the page because “ponies help pull wagons.” Initially, Brooklyn said a pony pulls her in a wagon to school. Then, her parents, trying to contain their laughter, confirmed she didn’t in fact ride in a wagon to school.

Two tables behind Brooklyn were 8-year-old twins Timothy and Ann Marie Roberts. Ann Marie decided to draw the sun shining down on a bird — her brother Timothy joked that it looked like a watermelon.

Timothy drew a shield that contained a cross and trees.

Rowan County’s March newsletter states the logos will be given to the Tourism and Development Authority and, subsequently, a branding committee to provide ideas about potential items to be included in a new county logo. County employees will also vote on their favorite.

The total cost of the rebranding is $500,000 and paid for through a tax that funds the Tourism and Development Authority. The largest single cost for the rebranding effort is “digital infrastructure,” according to a presentation made to county commissioners by Tourism Director James Meacham.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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