Becoming Parkhill: Discussing the Firm’s Rebrand with President Jay Edwards
Parkhill, Smith & Cooper has rebranded as Parkhill.
With the Parkhill brand, we are renewing our commitment to serving our clients and our communities with the same mission of Building Community that we have upheld for 75 years. President Jay Edwards discusses the decision to rebrand now and what that means as the firm moves forward.
“I enjoy looking back at the many opportunities and projects the firm has experienced over the past seven and a half decades. I am grateful for and humbled by the impact our people and our projects have had on the communities we serve. Since 1945, we have been blessed to work with so many wonderful clients and enjoy so many enduring relationships,” Edwards said. “But we also recognize that as the world continues to change, we cannot be satisfied with the successes of the past. Our clients and our communities face new challenges and different obstacles. I am excited for the opportunities change brings. Rebranding is our way of honoring the past and embracing the future and all that it holds.’”
Q: Why did you decide to rebrand now?
JE: With 2020 being our 75th anniversary, we have spent the year celebrating the longevity and history of the firm. It seemed like an appropriate time to not only look back but to also look forward with a fresh brand and renewed promise to our clients.
Our last rebrand was in 2006. It is hard to believe it has been 14 years since we underwent a change to our logo. Since that time, we have grown tremendously and expanded into new markets including Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Albuquerque. In the past few years, we have experienced transitions in leadership including our executive vice president and president positions. For all these reasons, we felt it was an appropriate time to rebrand the firm.
Q: As you looked at rebranding, were you surprised by anything you learned?
JE: As we looked at how identifiable our PSC brand really was, we learned that our logo was not distinguishable in a crowded field of A/E industry brands using three letters and a red box. In fact, we found over 20 companies or organizations that use the identifying letters of ‘PSC.’ We consider ourselves a unique firm, offering comprehensive and relevant solutions to communities. It became clear to us that our legacy brand did not adequately communicate to the world our exclusive promise to collaborate with and contribute to Building Community.
Q: What was the priority in creating the new Parkhill brand?
JE: It was important for our new brand to honor the firm’s legacy while reflecting who we are today and where we are going in the future. I wanted our brand to be distinctive and unique. We now have over 450 people serving clients across the country and even internationally. It is very important that our brand is relevant everywhere we work and across all our comprehensive design services.
Additionally, it was a must that the overall rebrand enhance our ability to tell our story in a consistent way. We wanted to develop concise, clear means of presenting written and graphical information so that our message will be consumed by today’s readers.
Q: What elements were chosen for the rebrand and what do they represent?
JE: First we chose to change the logo to ‘Parkhill.’ We believe it is bold and identifiable. The unique name is strong and distinctive, and even evokes thoughts of the built environments of which we create.
We believe the logo mark has stability and simple elegance. Beginning with the capital P and spanning to the double lowercase l’s, the typography represents the firm’s comprehensive and balanced way in which we approach our work.
I am very excited about also including the monogram to our overall rebranding. The three lines that intersect to make the ‘P’ represent our three founders: Parkhill, Smith and Cooper. The symbol tells the history of the firm. As such, I view the monogram as something very personal and very relational.
An important core value within the firm is Enduring Relationships. We believe developing long-term connections signal our success in keeping people at the center of all we do. The monogram will be a symbol of connection between individuals. I look forward to seeing it become more and more identifiable over time as we individually and personally share our story with people in our communities.
Our mission statement is Building Community by creating inventive, relevant built environments together. Building Community is why we exist.
A part of effectively telling our story will be utilizing the Building Community graphic as a base and building from it. We will consistently use this to emphasize that Parkhill is about Projects | People, Expertise | Relationships, etc.
Q: Considering the challenges we have faced in 2020, how does this brand continue to inspire the firm’s mission of Building Community?
JE: As I mentioned earlier, the firm was formed in 1945. That was a time when America was emerging from the shadow of World War II. Communities, having endured the Great Depression and the war, were poised to rebuild and grow. That is when our firm’s mission of Building Community began. Similarly, today our communities are enduring many challenges. The uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic, a depressed economy and racial injustices that continue to create civil unrest have hurt communities. Because of the many challenges today, I am convinced that our mission of Building Community is more relevant than it has ever been.
Our rebrand is a renewal of our promise to our communities that we will stay true to Building Community by holding fast to our core values of Deepening Credibility – recognizing our character and competence matters; Unassuming Influence – focusing on long-term change; and Inspired Contribution – Giving back with Gratitude.
Q: What does the Parkhill brand mean to you personally?
JE: The Parkhill brand is very personal to me. As we go forward, the Parkhill brand will continue to stand for improving people’s lives through the built environment. Our brand will symbolize our seeking out of innovative, comprehensive, and relevant solutions to our community’s challenges. The Parkhill brand will also stand for doing what is right. The Parkhill brand will stand against racism and discrimination in all forms. Our brand will be more than just a new logo. Our brand will be Building Community.