A logo designed around the county and its attributes will soon be a part of Scott County's promotional materials.
The logo features an outline of Scott County along with words promoting the county as "The Crossroads of America" and the phrase "Where North Meets South and East Meets West." Scott County officials hope it will be a quick way to attract the attention of businesses and industries as well as the public.
"We hope that people will notice this when we say this is 'The Crossroads of America.' We hope it will help attract industry," said Martin Priggel, presiding commissioner.
He called the logo a contemporary message, that points to the county's advantages. "The message we are trying to get across is that we are in the cross roads of America. This is where the northern way of living meets the southern style - right here at the Benton hill. And the Mississippi River has long been considered the dividing line between the East and the West, well about 40 percent of our county is along the Mississippi River.
"We are actually the only county in the United States where this can be said about it."
While the message and design look simple, it wasn't a simple process, recalled Priggel. He estimated the County Commission studied some 25 different logo ideas.
Assisting the Commission in the project was Jim Schwaninger, executive director of economic development for Scott County.
"We've been working on it for a good six months trying to find the right way to reflect the county's image and a way to introduce Scott County to people for the first time," said Schwaninger.
Schwaninger, who has an extensive background in business and management, explained the logo is much like a brand name. "When you are one of some 15 different Scott counties around the country, it is important to have something visual that people can identify an area with. As we work to attract business, the logo with the slogans should appeal to companies. We hope it will make them stop and say tell me what it means, tell me more."
The logo project began with a suggestion from a marketing class at Southeast Missouri State University that was looking at ways for the county to improve its image. The group was divided into three teams with each presenting a variety of proposals, he recalled.
From there, Schwaninger and the three county commissioners began studying the designs, picking and choosing the elements they thought would work best. County officeholders got a preview of the work and added their thoughts as well.
With the assistance of his son, a graphic designer, the initial drawing was put together and more thought was put into the design. Schwaninger said there were no real costs involved in the creation of the logo with all those assisting in the project volunteering their time.
The first public showing was at the June Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce meeting where Priggel displayed the logo. Reaction there was positive, officials said.
With the design complete, officials explained as time and money allow, it will be added to county letterheads and vehicles.
Signs will be sought, too. Commissioners would like the logo to be the first thing visitors see as they travel Interstate 55 north or south, come in from the east on Interstate 57 or enter from the west while traveling Highway 60 - they have arrived in Scott County: "The Crossroads of America."