Downtown PKB unveils new logo

Photo by Evan Bevins Downtown PKB executive director Wendy Shriver, left, and events and marketing coordinator Courtney Hendershot reveal the new Downtown PKB logos during an event Wednesday afternoon in the patio tent at the Blennerhassett Hotel.

PARKERSBURG — A new logo marks the start of a new era for Downtown PKB.

The nonprofit dedicated to promoting the downtown Parkersburg area to encourage economic and community growth unveiled its new logo and branding initiative at the Blennerhassett Hotel Wednesday.

The branding service was provided by Arnett Muldrow and Associates of South Carolina through a $20,000 grant from the West Virginia Department of Development and the OnTrac program, designed to help cities with economic revitalization and historic preservation as they move toward national Main Street certification.

“It (branding) really is kind of the linchpin of services once you’re getting ready to go into Main Street,” said Nikki Martin, state coordinator for OnTrac. “It’s a whole, comprehensive package, not just a logo.”

The new logo includes stylized versions of the letters PKB, using the familiar light green, blue and purple shades from the group’s previous emblem.

Photo by Evan Bevins The new Downtown PKB logo was kept a secret, with these gift bags facing away from guests at an event Wednesday afternoon at the Blennerhassett Hotel, until the big reveal was made.

“They loved how trendy we felt, and they just kind of made it a little bit better,” said Wendy Shriver, Downtown PKB’s executive director.

The space around the K and B form an arrow drawing eyes toward the P, in conjunction with the tagline “This is the place.”

“As soon as we saw the finished product, all of us, jaws dropped,” said Lindsey Anderson, president of Downtown PKB’s board.

Arnett Muldrow has done similar branding work for more than 250 communities around the country, Martin said, including 16 in West Virginia.

Representatives of the company visited Parkersburg in June, meeting with members of the board, community partners and more and conducting focus groups.

Photo by Evan Bevins Nikki Martin, West Virginia OnTrac coordinator, speaks about the branding effort for Downtown PKB funded by the state prior to the unveiling of the logo Wednesday afternoon in the patio tent at the Blennerhassett Hotel.

“When people thought about Downtown PKB, they didn’t think about our organization,” Shriver said. “They thought about the destination.”

Martin said both she and Arnett Muldrow were impressed with the efforts made by Downtown PKB.

“They told me that Parkersburg was actually the most put-together, as far as marketing materials, of any community they’ve ever been to,” Martin said.

Parkersburg Development Director Rickie Yeager said the new branding will help make the downtown area more identifiable as a destination.

“I think it reflects on what downtown is — it’s an eclectic mix of businesses and artists,” he said.

Arnett Muldrow also provided variations on the design for banners to be placed downtown, as well as updated logos for signature Downtown PKB events like the Taste of Parkersburg. In addition to printing the banners, Chapman Printing will allow a logo to be painted on the side of its building at 405 Ann St. as a “gateway” sign.

The logo reveal comes with a revamped website courtesy of local company One Nine Design, featuring more pictures of the downtown area and an interactive parking map.

People seeing the logo for the first time Wednesday had positive reactions.

“I am very excited, impressed” said Ginny Bowden, with McClinton Chevrolet and Mitsubishi. “I think this is a great program, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Robin Wallace, finance manager for Downtown PKB community partner DuPont, said the branding can help draw new residents as well as tourists.

“It’s going to be a good opportunity for local businesses to attract new talent to the area,” she said.

Martin said the next step for Parkersburg to become a full-fledged Main Street community is to submit its credentials when the next application period begins, hopefully in 2018.