City of Bessemer Website & Branding

A Hometown Branding and Identity Initiative

The Challenge:

Create a brand image that represents the City of Bessemer to help attract residents and visitors while representing the city’s core values.

The City of Bessemer, Michigan, was seeking a fresh image for their city along with a concentrated branding effort to showcase the city and surrounding area to potential residents, businesses, and visitors while maintaining the values of it’s current residents. The initial assets to concentrate on were an overall brand message, logo, and style which would guide further developments such as a website, signage in town, and potential advertising.

A citizen-led committee was formed to research and lead the branding efforts with 906 Web Studios founder, Dustin Filippini, as a member.  906 Web Studios lent expertise in design, branding, and modern trends throughout the planning process and beyond.

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The Solution:

Based upon the research and discussions with the citizen-led branding committee 906 Web Studios developed a brand identity for the small community. Listening to comments from the committee members and citizens surveyed during the process the prevailing sentiment is that the small town atmosphere made Bessemer a place where one could really be a part of the community from participating in community events, local government, schools,  outdoor recreation, or just knowing your neighbors.

With this knowledge, we created our "Be Bessemer" campaign highlighting all the things that residents and visitors are excited that they can "be" in the Bessemer area.

We worked and created several phrases that represented everyone's favorite parts about Bessemer like "Be Amazed," "Be Outdoors," "Be Home," "Be Proud," and more.

To add to the hometown feel, a new logo was created depicting the iconic bluffs that surround the city of Bessemer framing the letters "Be" in the word Bessemer.  The blue color was used to represent a natural feel while the orange color was used to represent the iron ore color reflecting back on the mining past of the city.

906 Web Studios founder, Dustin Filippini, along with the rest of the branding committee presented the new brand at a community event in conjunction with the city's annual Pumpkinfest fall festival.

Following this, several uses of the city's brand have been put into action in a team effort with the City of Bessemer and 906 Web Studios including a brand new city website, new light pole banners lining the highway, and other graphic signage and materials.

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WEBSITE REDESIGN

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906 Web Studios was selected to do the website redesign to coincide with the city branding campaign.  The city had been operating a website for several years, however, the site had become outdated and many areas were missing information or information was out of date.  The website was hard to manage for city staff and hard to navigate for users.

Working with the city manager and city staff, we outlined the areas of information needed on the site from local travel information, to easy to find ordinances, to the ability to pay bills online, and organized this information in a navigation that was easy to follow for the end user and also accessible on mobile devices.

The website was built on top of a user friendly content management system to allow updates to be easily made on the fly both by city staff and 906 Web Studios.

STREET LIGHT POLE BANNERS

As part of the city branding committee we developed several "Be" phrases to represent the city and living in the Bessemer area. For several of these phrases, we chose photos which brought out the message of living in the Bessemer area. These photos were then used to create custom designed street light pole signs which line the US Highway 2 corridor running through Bessemer.

When you pass through town, be sure to look up and "Be Amazed!"

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906 Web Studios designed a very user friendly website that makes navigation effortless. Numerous residents have complimented our wonderful new website and we foresee it helping attract new residents and businesses. The company led our branding efforts and provided us with high quality photos to fully showcase our community. 906 Web Studios was a delight to work with.

Charly, City of Bessemer