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MONTICELLO — The city of Monticello’s new logo blends the old with the new in what consultants believe is an accurate reflection of the town.

Marketing specialists hired for the purpose of rebranding the city look took the crosshatch pattern from an overhead view of the historic Courthouse Square, blended it with several boxes of differing colors and came up with a logo they say is not only flexible, but unique.

The work, completed by Champaign-based Clanin Marketing after a multi-step process that included meetings with three focus groups, will be incorporated into city documents, business cards and possibly even vehicles and apparel.

“We created the actual map of downtown Monticello into an eye-catching abstract representation of the community’s most discernible and charming feature: The square,” said Scott Clanin, the marketing firm’s owner and president.

After conducting their research, the company felt a mix of historic with a modern twist would be appropriate.

That sentiment also led to the suggested tagline, “Monticello: Close to Everything; Far From Everyday.”

The logo — and tagline where there is room — will replace a large number of logos that have arisen between the city, Chamber of Commerce and Monticello Main Street over the past decade or so.

“We have something like 19 active logos, and we wanted something more unified and updated,” City Community Development Director Callie Jo McFarland said.

“We wanted to develop a uniform brand initiative for the city.”

She added it was unique, and will also be reflected as the Champaign-based marketing company expands the work into related Chamber of Commerce and Monticello Main Street logos.

“How many communities have an ‘M’ for a logo? How many communities are their school colors?” McFarland said.

“We’re not opposed to that — you will notice some purple, and a gold hue in there for a reason — but we are Monticello, we’re not the school, we’re not Mahomet, we have our own square. It’s something very unique to us, and we can truly call that our own,” McFarland said.

The logo is an homage to a downtown area that is dominated by the 1903 Piatt County Courthouse and surrounded by a business district that features artisans, restaurants and other businesses.

“We created an actual map of downtown Monticello into an eye-catching abstract representation of the community’s most discernible and charming feature: The square,” Clanin told the city council. “This was designed to identify the city of Monticello as a vibrant city center that is open for residents, and a destination for visitors.”

Focus groups were asked what attracted them to Monticello, what makes it unique, how they would describe it to visitors, what it stands for and challenges they feel the community faces.

Clanin said it was clear citizens are proud of Monticello’s historic nature, which prompted a logo that reflects on that aerial view of downtown, a national historic district.

City council members seemed pleased with the logo.

Mary Vogt enjoyed the explanation that came prior to the reveal.

“I think it’s interesting how you took all the information from the different groups, then came up with this design. I loved the story behind it,” she said.

“I sat in on one of those focus groups, and there were folks in a whole gamut of demographics, and each came to the table with a little different ideas and expertise and experience,” City Administrator Terry Summers said.

“You guys did a great job making that an interactive session, getting people to talk and share.”

Steve Hoffman is editor of the Piatt County Journal-Republican, a Community Media Group. For more, visit

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