The great blue heron that has served as a mascot for Haldimand County since 2001 is flying into the sunset.
The heron — in silhouette against a waterfront landscape — is a prominent feature of the logo Haldimand adopted when the new county was created 18 years ago.
Haldimand has announced that the old logo will be replaced, over time, with a new one.
The new logo is minimalist in character. It features a wavy, stylized landscape of lake and land, along with a rising or setting sun or full moon. Prominent in the foreground are the words “Haldimand County.” There are no references to local wildlife.
“The new logo provides a fresh new look for Haldimand and portrays the county’s natural beauty while symbolizing its potential as a great place to live, work and play,” the county says in a news release.
The logo is part of a larger re-branding and marketing exercise. Funds for the consulting firm performing the work – CQNS of Hamilton – were provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
In an interview, Mayor Ken Hewitt said public reaction to the new logo has been mixed. The key thing to remember, Hewitt said, is that council is going with an emblem that emphasizes the words “Haldimand County” – a unique signifier.
There are several Norfolk Counties around the world. However, Haldimand County in southern Ontario – named after British military officer and Governor of Quebec Sir Frederick Haldimand (1718-1791) – is unique.
“We thought it was time to simplify the logo and emphasize what Haldimand is all about,” Hewitt said. “It’s about trying to put some meat on the name. Whether it’s Cayuga, Dunnville, Hagersville, Jarvis or Caledonia, you’re in ‘Haldimand County.’”
Hewitt noted that council likes the directness of the new image, adding that he thinks the old logo is “busy.”
County CAO Don Boyle said the new logo achieves its objective.
“A cohesive, contemporary corporate identity helps portray the benefits of our community to residents, businesses, investors and visitors,” Boyle says.
“Haldimand County has evolved significantly since 2001. The new logo reflects our community’s increased vibrancy, dynamism and potential.”
The re-branding also includes a new slogan: “Real. Potential.”
“’Real’ is just how we live,” the county says. “It is about authentic and sincere experiences with people who are proud of who they are and what they have created.
“’Potential’ is our promise. We want to show people what Haldimand County is – a place where you can create a new business, have unique experiences, and make a real impact.”
Don’t expect the heron to disappear overnight, or its replacement to appear everywhere on all things all at once. The county acknowledges that forcing a change would be expensive and not the best use of taxpayers’ money.
“Replacement of roadside and building signage – as well as updates to county publications bearing the old logo – will occur gradually over time to minimize costs,” the county release says. “The majority of county assets and materials will be updated as they are re-ordered, re-printed or replaced.”