Positioned former Army base for growth as an evolving, exciting and unique tourism destination and community

The Howell team was recruited to engage the public and create a compelling brand capable of marketing Fort Monroe, VA, as a place for business, residents, visitors and more. As Fort Monroe’s life as a military installation came to a close, our team stepped in to open new doors and capitalize on the sense of place, recognizing the Fort’s exceptional history, which in many ways, helped to shape our young republic.

The Brand Engagement Process

The pressure was on as fiefdoms of stakeholders waited to see how Fort Monroe would take shape as a newly formed political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The property that was once a strategic Army fortress guarding the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay was now available to the public and its next phase of life was wide open. To kick off the branding process, the Howell team carefully engaged the public to survey and test different logos and messaging directions, and employed quantitative and qualitative opinion research.

The Result

Lots of great ideas came from public input. While many logo concepts ended up on the cutting room floor, the final result was worth the wait when the Howell team hit the nail on the head. We developed a four-part brand image that evoked feelings of pride and heritage while paying homage to military and historic roots. The logo showcases couplings of icons in quadrants, each identified by a signature color.

  • Living in the community is represented by an oak tree against an earthy green background
  • Commercial opportunities and working at Fort Monroe with an architectural roofline against an energetic gold
  • “Playing” at the Fort is indicated by a deep red square with a tuft of the beach grass that can be found where families enjoy the beach
  • A custom illustration of the iconic lighthouse appears in the ocean blue portion

“Live, work, play and learn” is the visual theme paired with the tag line “Where Freedom Lives” to round out the branding platform. With this main four-part logo as a base, the Howell team created several corresponding sub brands to represent specific areas or events of Fort Monroe.

“I lived at Fort Monroe from 1963 to 1966 while attending college, worked at the Chamberlin and conducted walking tours of the Fort. The memories of living on the water, and living the history of the Fort while on my tours, has left Fort Monroe in my heart forever.”


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