Branding Rock County’s Breadbasket


Woot! Woot! Congratulations to Mike Reuter and his Rock County Historical Society (RCHS) team for their great work with Adunate in creating a logo for their upcoming marketing campaign. And so the branding begins!

Mike, who serves as executive director, contacted me a couple months ago regarding the society’s campaign called Breadbasket (I wrote about the society here). Breadbasket will be a yearlong traveling exhibit that chronicles Rock County’s culinary history. The exhibit will run from June 1, 2013 to June 1, 2014, and will target youth of all ages, families and underprivileged families. According to Mike, these audiences will benefit from Breadbasket’s following embedded themes:

  1. Seed to Spoon: Where Does Our Food Come From?
  2. Tasty Traditions: How Does Food Shape Who We Are?
  3. Our Food Future: Bleak or Bright?

Discussing the project with Mike was exciting. He comes to the RCHS with a great portfolio, having previously worked as the operations manager and curator for the Milwaukee County Historical Society. His plans for Breadbasket are to have large, sweeping, door-type displays, along with educational kiosks. The exhibit will be headquartered at the RCHS campus but will also travel to outlying historical societies.

Mike then put together an interesting team of a people, all individual from one another yet all related to Rock County. For more than an hour we discussed what the county means to them (I’ve developed a super effective process of opening up participant’s creative brains and guiding them through the necessary brainstorming). What a fun time! I learned so many appreciative qualities of this area of south central Wisconsin. I daresay the participants did too—open-minded thinking always gives people perspectives they didn’t have before.

One of the objectives for the Breadbasket logo is that it work both independently and together with the RCHS logo. Therefore, it needs to have its own identity, yet coordinate.

Here’s the RCHS logo.

Rock County Historical Society logo, Janesville, WisconsinThe logo is very befitting to the society; the icon replicates its Lincoln-Tallman House and the typeface represents the Craftsman-style of its other buildings.

We decided the red color that RCHS uses in all its visual communications would be the coordinating factor. Rather than choosing one or the other of the two eras represented in the RCHS logo, we went with a generalized advertising style that would have been common in the late 1800s to early 1900s, a time frame common inclusive of both eras.

Rock County Historical Society

Rock County’s food history is fascinating. Like much of Wisconsin, it evolved as a wheat-growing county in the mid-1800s to a dairy-producing county in the 1900s. Today it celebrates everything from large acreages of field corn, to specialized farmers markets, orchards and vineyards, all of which work together to make up Rock County’s enticing breadbasket of food.

So here you have it: RCHS’s own breadbasket of food! I’m anxious to see the Breadbasket displays and the great programs the RCHS puts together in the next year!

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