NORTH ADAMS — The city has rolled out the welcome mat for visitors — in the form of colorful, 12-foot-high signs.
Thanks to the work of several local organizations, the city has undergone a two-year rebranding process that includes the addition of the large, new welcome signs on Route 2 and Route 8 on the outskirts of the city.
The privately financed rebranding efforts — spearheaded by the city, the North Adams Partnership, North Adams Chamber of Commerce and Berkshire Cultural Resource Center — coincide with a Chamber-funded, fully redesigned tourism and events website, explorenorthadams.com.
The new look comes at a time when local leaders say the city is beginning to turn a corner and become "the place to be" in Berkshire County, with its culture, lodging and restaurants.
The new city logo at the center of the rebranding, initially introduced last year, will be used not only for signage but also marketing materials and in the replacement of wayfinding signs throughout the city. The logo will soon adorn banner on the city's bridges and plans are in the works for banners with the new design to be hung downtown.
"They scream to the new and kind of speak to the old in a really nice way, reflective of our community and our history," said Mayor Richard Alcombright. "It's really kind of a great moment ... and there's more to come."
The logo includes a whimsical depiction of the Hoosic River beneath a silhouette of Main Street and its towering steeples. In the background, the Hoosac Tunnel is spotted entering the profile of the Hoosac Range and Florida Mountain.
The city expects the logo and brand to be incorporated into the images of other local organizations and institutions.
Two of the three planned 12-foot-tall welcome signs displaying the new brand were placed this week near the Western Summit on Route 2 and on Route 8 near the Hardman Industrial Park. A third will placed in the west end of the city near the city's Airport on Route 2. The signs were strategically positioned in high-traffic entrances to the city.
"The reason for that sign [atop the Western Summit] is it is about 300 yards before you take this beautiful view over the whole valley. We thought it was be nice to say 'This is North Adams, folks,' " said Duncan Brown, chairman of the partnership's board of trustees.
While explorenorthadams.com has been a central location for city information for several years, the rebranding provides a new emphasis on the calendar of events in addition to the new green-and-blue color scheme.
The design of the new logo, which was crafted with community input, cost $50,000 and was paid for with privately raised money by the North Adams Partnership, a local nonprofit dedicated to community development.
Alcombright ties the new branding to many advancements in the city within the past several years, including DownStreet Art, a planned skate park, and new or rebuilt playgrounds.
"I think when people around town are going to look at these and think it's kind of a touristy thing, and [ask a] 'What does it do for me' kind of questions," Alcombright said. "It's almost like you get a new suit, and you kind of feel a little bit better about yourself."
Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6376.