LIBA celebrates 10th anniversary, reveals new logo and stays sorta ‘weird’

unnamedThe Louisville Independent Business Alliance is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has unveiled a redesigned logo. Noticeably absent from the new logo is the oft-maligned slogan “Keep Louisville Weird.” The slogan will, however, remain part of LIBA’s branding, including its website:

This is the first logo redesign since the organization was founded; Bandy Carroll Hellige worked on the project pro bono.

LIBA also will undergo a full branding campaign, thanks to a “Dream Team” of ad professionals from the Advertising Federation of Louisville.

According to a news release, “The new logo is a simplified and clean look that speaks directly to Buying Local by spelling out the ‘LIBA’ acronym and highlighting the ‘independent’ part of the name. While used internally and among its members, many in the general public are unaware of what the LIBA acronym stands for, and this helps build more community awareness.”

The “Keep Louisville Weird” slogan has often come under criticism for its lack of originality. The slogan was born in Austin, Texas, in 2000 and has since been adopted by other cities, including Indianapolis and Portland, Ore. (At least Indianapolis spins it to “Keep Indy Indie.”)

“We feel the new logo is a natural evolution of our original one,” said Jennifer Rubenstein, director of LIBA, in a news release. “The ‘keep Louisville weird’ slogan will always remain an important part of our outreach, and the new logo complements those efforts by emphasizing the essence of our organization: ‘independent’ and ‘buy local’.”

Ali Hawthorn of M2-Maximum Media agreed. “We will keep using [‘Keep Louisville Weird’] as a tagline since it has so much local awareness and brand equity, but we wanted the logo to be more simple and direct with our appeal, which is to encourage folks to Buy Local!” she said in an email to Insider. M2-Maximum Media is a member of LIBA and works with their pubic relations team.

(Incidentally, just last night I returned from a trip to Austin, a city that is seriously weird. Austinites make Louisvillians look as buttoned-up as Lexingtonians, so perhaps it’s time to retire the borrowed slogan. How about “Keep Louisville Different” instead?)

LIBA, over the past 10 years, has grown to be one of the top-five largest Independent Business Alliances in the United States with more than 750 members. LIBA was formed in 2005 by ear X-tacy’s John Timmons and a handful of other local business owners who sought to band together to bring attention to the benefits of shopping locally.

Infographic LIBA

infographic by Pip Pullen