The National League of Cities Just Rolled Out a New Logo and Tag Line. Here’s Why.

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Today marks the launch of NLC’s new logo and slogan. Here are five reasons why we’re making the change.

(photo: Tim Mudd)
Most people simply know us as “NLC,” so we’ve embraced the abbreviation in our new logo. Many people have guessed (incorrectly) that the ease of printing the new, shorter logo on sunglasses was the real reason we decided to make the switch. (Photo: Tom Martin)

NLC’s New Logo

NLC’s Previous Logo

To reflect cities of all sizes

The circles and buildings in the old logo suggested that the National League of Cities was only for large cities. But more than half of U.S. municipalities have fewer than 2000 residents, and cities and towns of all sizes are members of NLC. The new “all cities mark” used to create the “L” in our new logo symbolizes that all municipalities are welcome in the National League of Cities.

To embrace the abbreviation “NLC” that we’re already using

We try to be very intentional about saying our complete name, the National League of Cities. But everyone uses the abbreviation “NLC.” It even shows up in some of our products and services, such as NLC University and the NLC Prescription Discount Card. We’ve been missing out on the opportunity to create a consistent visualization of “NLC” to associate with our organization and the things we do. Now we’re embracing “NLC,” but we’ll always remind you what it means!

To embody the forward-leaning nature of NLC

NLC’s strategic plan calls for us to be “forward leaning,” and we’ve risen to the challenge. The sharing economy, driverless cars and drones are just a few of the topics NLC has covered to help city leaders learn what’s coming and how they can prepare. We’re also moving into a new, all-glass office with a modern design and innovative, multipurpose spaces. Our dated three-circles logo just didn’t fit the new organization we have become.

To embrace our role as a bold and visible voice for cities

We are the voice of cities in Washington. Our members passionately work every year to develop the National Municipal Policy, our positions on issues that matter to cities. We advise Congress and the Administration on how federal policies affect the nation’s cities, and we are a strong advocate for our members. The boldness of our new logo embodies the passion we and our members feel about the importance of cities to the health of our nation.

And about that tag line…

At NLC, we believe cities are strong. Especially when they work together. Strong in the sense that they represent the majority of Americans. Strong in the sense that they can govern — they have to govern — and serve their residents. Strong in the sense that they learn from each other and become more vibrant, more economically successful, and more innovative by sharing ideas. In NLC, cities are strong together.

It wasn’t an overnight decision, but there were some all-nighters…

We appreciate the hard work of our Executive Committee and Board, our staff, and our brand experts – Red Deluxe from NLC member city Memphis, Tennessee – for all of their hard work to develop a new look for the National League of Cities. It’s a difficult task to capture the spirit of an organization as complex as NLC in a logo that is clean and simple, but they’ve done it!

About the Author: Brian Derr is the Director of Marketing, Digital Engagement and Communications at the National League of Cities.