News Flash


Posted on: March 31, 2021

Branding the City of Hermitage

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The City of Hermitage, Pennsylvania is exploring a new brand identity (logo) intended for use in creating compelling marketing and communication strategies intended to foster economic development opportunities within the community. 


Initiated in January 2020 as a semester-long collaborative branding and marketing project between the students in the undergraduate Brand Management course taught by RJ Thompson (Associate Director of Student Engagement in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh) and the City of Hermitage staff. Students were asked to group together, produce, and pitch a comprehensive marketing plan to the Hermitage municipal staff. Upon delivery of the work, the City representatives sought to execute some of the ideas by requesting further assistance from Thompson and his design research practice, +Public LLC, which he operates with his partner Kent Kerr, also a design educator at Point Park University. The project ultimately produced an exciting array of unique and creative concepts which served as the impetus for Plus Public’s continued efforts. 


In continuing the project work with the Hermitage Community and Economic Development Commission (HCEDC), +Public held three focus group sessions with community stakeholders such as residents, business owners, and city officials. Together with the coordinative assistance of the HCEDC and staff, Plus Pubic designed and conducted a series of live, interactive research sessions designed to discover how citizens live, work, and play in Hermitage. By understanding the internal and external perspectives of Hermitage citizens, Plus Public hopes to provide a branding and marketing solution that represents Hermitage as a people, place, and culture. 


Upon careful consideration, three different brand identity options were selected to be reviewed and commented on by the public. Gary Gulla, Assistant City Manager stated: “We are very appreciative of the creative efforts of the University of Pittsburgh students and the leadership of the Plus Public team working with the HCEDC to manage the branding project and to develop these concepts from an interactive, grassroots-led community-based initiative. As a component of the final phase of the branding project, we look forward to receiving invaluable public input on the top three options.”


Stakeholders of Hermitage, Pennsylvania are being asked to visit and select one of the logo options available that they best think represents the community. Voting is open starting at 8 am on April 1st and will close at 6 pm on April 17th (Close date potentially pushed back two more weeks if voting feedback is strong). In addition to voting, the public will have the opportunity to submit their ideas and what they hope a new brand identity would bring to Hermitage. Please note, the City will review input from all sources when making a final brand decision. Your preference and your feedback will make a difference. 


To learn more about this project, please visit the link above or contact RJ Thompson via e-mail at or Rachael Manuel, Assistant Director of Finance, City of Hermitage, via e-mail at

Click here to Vote!
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