City of Painesville

Case Study

Brand Identity, Brand Strategy, marketing

A historic community on the rise, the City of Painesville represents a diverse population, quaint neighborhoods, great academic institutions and amenities. Its strong foundation, mixed with new efforts to spark economic activity and hometown pride, position the community for a bright future.


Painesville was bound for a big revival. With new leadership in place, great amenities across town, affordable housing stock and a culturally diverse population, the city has a lot to offer residents, business owners, and visitors. However, poor perceptions from less prosperous years threatened their upswing. The community needed a brand that told the real story of present-day pride and the outlook for the future.


  • Multi-day brand discovery sessions unearthed challenges like poor school ratings, safety misconceptions and competition from nearby communities. But they also presented opportunities to shift the current narrative with current realities like low crimes rates, well-integrated schools, a growing business community and wholesome vibes.
  • A new messaging platform and brand voice was developed to communicate brand personality (eclectic, neighborly, resilient, evolving, etc.) and distinct advantages to help leadership and stakeholders champion the new brand.
  • A positioning statement that reflects the community’s backdrop of resources and amenities, as well as its ability to offer a dynamic, multicultural experience.
  • A new brand identity and logo that captures the city’s diversity and progressive mindset while honoring its historical roots. Inspired by the downtown district’s signage and copper patina (found on buildings and brick roads), the new green color palette and typeface blends old school charm with a modern interpretation.
  • A new city badge as well as departmental badges create alignment and consistency across various city-driven communications.

“I knew there were some perception issues, but Guide Studio’s holistic discovery process showed me that people were passionate and positive about the community, overall. We didn’t have to make up positive attributes – we reflected what’s already here, giving us more credibility and trust.”

Kathleen Sullivan,Communications Coordinator, City of Painesville


For Painesville, the new brand platform is just the beginning. Met with overwhelming positivity and pride, the logo and messaging strategy have set the right tone for building a great story. As they move into the next chapter, they will continue to capitalize on the passion and momentum they’ve built through this process.

“People are really excited about the new brand. I ask residents, ‘Is this truly Painesville?’ and the answer is always ‘Absolutely.’”

Kathleen Sullivan

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