Discover Ellenville

Established in 1823, the Village of Ellenville is part of the Town of Wawarsing in Ulster County, New York, along with the hamlets of Cragsmoor, Napanoch, and Kerhonkson. It is also part of the Ellenville Central School District (ECSD).

With a population of around 4,000 people, Ellenville is nestled in the Rondout Valley, flanked to the west by the lower Catskills and to the east, the majestic Shawangunk Ridge, which the Nature Conservancy has listed as ‘One of the last 75 great places on Earth’.

The late ’50s and ’60s saw Ellenville’s heyday, a thriving area and community with many recreational attractions and businesses, such as the famous Imperial Schrade knife factory and Channel Master, which first introduced cable TV to the US. Ellenville was also renowned for being part of the Borscht Belt and close to many famous Catskill clubs and resorts, which drew many people into the area from far and wide.

However, the ’70s onwards saw a slow decline in its fortunes, and it began to fall on hard times. Like many ‘small-town America,’ it struggled to keep pace with changes in social tastes. As a result, its businesses and industries could not compete with cheaper imports and either went out of business or relocated to different parts of the country for cheaper labor. Since 2007, the tides of fortune have begun to turn back in its favor, with eco-tourism starting to reflourish once again and new small businesses and restaurants starting to spring up.

Consequently, we were selected to work with the Village, Town, and School boards to capitalize on this momentum to create a multi-disciplined marketing campaign and a single visual brand identity to unite the three entities and promote the following key areas: eco-tourism, people attraction, and events.

After a comprehensive visual audit, we recommended creating a visual identity that evolved the school’s existing ‘Tree of Knowledge’ logo to create a symbolic interpretation of a tree representing the surrounding forests. The original settlers used the woods to fuel the furnaces of a glasswork factory, out of which the village and community first grew back in the early 1800s.

The new symbol also reflects its unique geographical location in the shadow of the Shawangunk Ridge and the role water played in expediting the growth of the town, village, and community through the building of the D&H Canal and its surrounding reservoirs, waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. The town name ‘Wawarsing’ is derived from the Lenape Indians, meaning ‘A place where the river bends.’

The new identity was applied across communications, traditional and new media, vehicles, uniforms, websites, social media, and wayfinding signs.

Running in tandem with this initiative was creating the Discover Ellenville campaign to promote the village and the many great things to do and see in Ellenville and the surrounding area, including producing numerous events and attraction videos.

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A collection of some of the logos I have created over the years.