by Mike Conroy
2016 is here, which means a fresh start, all those New Year’s Resolutions and of course, Montgomery Village’s 50th Anniversary. Early in the celebration planning stages, the 50th Anniversary Committee decided a unique logo to tie the family activities planned for the celebration year was necessary.
Soon after, a logo contest was announced in the Village News and online, and about 20 residents sent submissions for the committee to evaluate. Several designs were compared for their artistic merits, how they would reproduce across a wide variety of media and overall appeal. After some discussion, a winner was chosen and is now in use to brand the golden anniversary. Long-time resident Dick Rabil created the winning design.
Rabil says the contest was a personal experience for him, but his entry was made with the entire community in mind. “I like to enter contests,” he says, noting it’s a challenge to work within certain parameters and create a quality product. But having your design chosen is a special feeling altogether. “I was excited – awards come with special honors. This was personal and has different meaning. I’m glad Village residents will get something out of it, have something to be proud of. This is for the community, not just me.”
Dick, a professional graphic designer, had a unique interest in this contest. As a 35-year resident of Montgomery Village, he understands how people and families have grown in the community. His own family has lived in a number of homes in the Village, starting small and growing when the time was right. He reminisces about the earlier days of Montgomery Village, wishing businesses such as the Putt Putt, the movie theater, Schenck’s Hardware and Sir Walter Raleigh were still around. Rabil notes that all these places contributed to a growing sense of community and real hometown kind of feeling.
As these ideas swirled in his head, they mixed with his marketing and branding expertise, something hard to avoid when your business is also in Montgomery Village. Dick and his wife Kathi serve large and small clients ranging from the federal government to non-profits in the Washington, D.C. region, helping them find, reclaim or rebrand their corporate identities with their Village-based business. Combined with his admiration for the Village, the logo contest presented the perfect opportunity to meld worlds and produce a simple, yet meaningful piece of art for Rabil’s hometown.
Rabil goes on to say that he enjoys making anniversary logos, especially with numbers. “50 is a fun number—the ‘5’ and the ‘0’ are fun numerals to play with, they are pleasing to the eye and easier to manipulate than, say, ’25.’ Initially, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to incorporate MVF’s existing logo/identity, but it was great the way the two fit together.”
“I knew I wanted something with a contemporary feeling. Early versions I had focused too much on the name [Montgomery Village], which was too long. It had to be in there, but not overpowering, just bold enough to give it some presence. And as this evolved, I knew it needed to be versatile, 21st Century and scalable in print, digital and other forms.”
Rabil says that this opportunity was a good way to use his professional talents for something he is personally invested in—Montgomery Village. He has recently gotten back into photography as a hobby and has found many interesting subjects around the Village, often visiting them 40 or more times to capture the perfect image. This has sparked a renewed interest in Village scenery and strengthens his notion that Montgomery Village is a great place to live. Dick notes that although the Village identity has changed some over the years, it is still an affordable community where residents get many amenities and opportunities for the value.
As he recalls a few last memories, including an old Fourth of July Parade where his daughters received a first place award for Star Wars-themed costumes, Rabil cracks a smile. These fun memories of a growing family in an established community are certainly reflected in Rabil’s logo design. The light colors showcase the fun, family feelings he expressed, and the numbers, combined with the community name, dates and friendship figures (not trees) reflect the community aspects. All in all, a job well done—one the entire Village can be proud of.
The 50th Anniversary Committee also wishes to thank all the residents, adults and kids, who submitted designs for the contest. While only one logo was chosen to represent this great occasion, it was evident that Montgomery Village means something different and special to each resident, and that was reflected in the submitted designs. For more information about 50th Anniversary Celebration events, read the Village News or visit www.montgomeryvillage.com.