Last month, the Mount Clemens Commission unanimously approved Redhead Design Studio as the city’s branding firm. Redhead specializes in brand strategy and marketing.

Last month, the Mount Clemens Commission unanimously approved Redhead Design Studio as the city’s branding firm. Redhead specializes in brand strategy and marketing.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Design studio chosen for Mount Clemens branding project

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published March 8, 2021


MOUNT CLEMENS — A new branding project for the city of Mount Clemens is set to go.

Redhead Design Studio was unanimously approved as the city’s branding firm at the Feb. 16 Mount Clemens Commission meeting.

In January, it was reported that a committee was formed to review proposals and work with a firm for the project.

City Manager Don Johnson said the branding project began during the strategic planning process when the commission made “Establish a city-wide brand” one of its objectives under its economic development goal.

Redhead Design Studio’s website indicates it specializes in brand strategy and marketing for social change by helping mission-led organizations convert skeptics and change cultural behaviors.

“The project we are about to embark on will identify and promote a new brand for Mount

Clemens,” Johnson said. “We will do that in a very deliberate, systematic and conscious manner. We will explicitly decide what image we wish to project for the city, and we will work incessantly to project that image in everything we do.”

Redhead Principal and Creative Director Jennifer Estill said Redhead has found that it’s in love with midwestern cities and what they can accomplish.

“I have strong thoughts about Michigan’s resurgence and the opportunities we’ll have going forward,” she said.

About a year ago, Estill made a list of what she thought were interesting Michigan cities, and Mount Clemens was on it.

“It’s kind of beautiful and has a lot of opportunity,” she said. “I like the fact it has an interesting history to it.”

In visiting Mount Clemens before writing the proposal, the Redhead team noticed how willing folks were to talk to them, so they had a sense of the city prior to the proposal.

Now that the project is confirmed, Estill said one of the first things is to research and find who the target audience is.

“We need to figure out if we’re trying to support the families that are here, trying to retain more or try to increase perception among peer cities in the county,” she said.

Proposals were due Jan. 6, with the city receiving 24. They were reviewed independently by members of the branding committee.

The members of the committee scored each of the proposals on firm background, project approach, project team, client references and work samples, completeness and compliance with the request for proposal, and other information provided.

“We were especially impressed with Redhead’s approach to developing a brand identity for Mount Clemens,” Johnson said. “Redhead was particularly sensitive to the need for diversity, inclusion and accessibility. They devoted an entire page of their proposal to these topics.”

Commissioner Denise Mentzer said, given that Redhead is not a local business — it’s based in Lansing — she found that local companies who submitted proposals were missing quite a bit from what Redhead included.

“Their philosophy was really well done, and they clarified the staff’s qualifications. They had 32 examples of brand and logo development,” she said. “I think this was a good choice.”

Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp said she knows that going outside the community to select a firm had to have been difficult for the committee.

“I wholeheartedly support their recommendation and respect them as extreme professionals and know they have our best interest in mind,” she said.

Estill said Mount Clemens is the first Macomb County municipality Redhead has worked with.