The Town of Middleburg has selected the logo it will use to build its brand—the horse.
The Town Council on Thursday night voted unanimously to endorse the new town logo—a horse jumping over a stone wall—and direct the staff to implement it across town. The new logo will be used to promote tourism and economic development by going on event promotions, wayfinding signs, digital and print media and more. Of the $40,000 the town is paying the Red Thinking branding and digital marketing firm to develop a town brand, $6,000 was spent to create the logo.
It will not replace the town seal, which is a fox—the animal that has represented the town since the early 1900s. The seal, created in 1984, will still be used on official correspondence, utility bills, Town Council actions and similar governmental purposes.
“This has been a long-term, ongoing conversation,” said Town Administrator Danny Davis during last week’s council meeting, noting that the matter has been before the Town Council at least 18 times.
According to a staff report, the new logo depicts many aspects of the town. The horse represents Middleburg’s activity and spirit with a gentle grace and signifies the importance of the equestrian lifestyle. The stone wallportrays the town’s surrounding countryside and pays homage to the town’s history and tradition. The open styleof the design symbolizes the pastoral landscapes surrounding Middleburg, indicating a sense of open space, natural connection and rural calm. The date of the town’s founding, 1787, emphasizes the town’s rich history and its importance in the Washington, DC, region.
The logo also will be accompanied by three secondary options—one with just the text, one with the town’s name crescent-shaped over the horse and another with a large “M” surrounded by the town’s name in a circle. Town Administrator Danny Davis said the text-only logo could be used as a header or footer in a word document, while the other two could be used as social media icons or on town-branded merchandise.
The idea to move forward with a town branding initiative first came up in 2017, when the Economic Development Advisory Committee and the Futures Group informed the Town Council that the initiative would support the town’s business community. The advisory committee recommended a branding effort designed to attract more visitors and businesses.
Mayor Bridge Littleton said that, while some residents might not like the new logo, the initiative reflects “honest, diligent work” in finding a logo that speaks to Middleburg as a brand. “There’s no right, there’s no wrong—there’s just as best as we could do,” he said.
Vice Mayor Darlene Kirk, who was previously opposed to the horse logo because she felt the horse, unlike the fox, is not synonymous with Middleburg, said she would support it moving forward. “I want this to work and I think it can work,” she said.
Davis said the town staff would talk with Red Thinking this week about creating different types of content for the new logo and that residents and visitors should expect to see the horse on a broad scale in the coming months.