Most of us here really like our current logo, however, we're finding that it's just not flexible enough for all the necessary uses. In terms of "who we are," we're a little all over the place: a historic mansion/museum, nature trails, an equestrian center, a carriage museum, a center for learning civic leadership skills, and an athletic fields complex. Our current logo has two fonts, and the athletic fields manager finds that one of the fonts is much too feminine and fussy for her use. Also, we have about a dozen programs, including Morven Park sports leagues, whose managers believe need individual logos. I'm trying to avoid that by having one "motherbrand" that can somehow be adapted for use by everyone. Perhaps, for example the overarching logo includes our tagline, but the "sub-brand" logos replace the tagline with the name of the program, for example, "Preservation Forum," or "CivicsNow!," or "Equestrian Center." I don't want to put too many rules on the design, but the biggest factor is that it be simple enough that it translates to many uses. Look at Virgin and the dozens of iterations of the logo as it is used for the airline, the mobile phone company, records, festivals, and on and on. They take it much farther than we want or need, but we need something that leans toward that type of flexibility. Also, take a look at FedEx and its sub-brands. We also have an insignia, "MP," that we've been using for a couple of years, and would love having something similar, but again, less formal. We've used the insignia on signage, brochures and fake etching on the glass doors of our visitors center, for example, and have liked having that for those purposes. On the other hand, it doesn't look so great on a baseball cap!
One thing we definitely do NOT want is a logo that looks like our columns. Every historic home museum in Virginia (and beyond) as well as many universities use columns in their logos. We're willing to consider a logo that, in a stylized way, evokes the sense of a column, though.
Although we are in an area of the country where historic homes (think Monticello, Mt. Vernon, and Montpelier) are prevalent, we are unique in our. We want to be sure the logo and typography do not ONLY reflect one single element of who we are. And please, please, please, do not go to our website to get an idea of our current look. We are building a new website that should be launched within a couple of weeks.
One last thing ... we're still trying to settle on our tagline, but for placement purposes, let's use "Your 1,000-acre escape." And that's really the message we're trying to get across. It's vast open space, in an increasingly populated and developed area. Like Central Park is to New Yorkers, we want Morven Park to be an escape for people in DC and Virginia.