Main Street Chestertown, a 501 (c) 3 dedicated to creating a lively, diverse and prosperous downtown, has selected a design by creative duo Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson as the winner of its logo competition. Nearly 40 entries, some from as far away as Idaho and Colorado, were reviewed in a blind judging (no designer names revealed) by both the Main Street board and a review panel of three design professionals: Ellen Hurst, Kathleen King and Greg Waddell.
Behr and Swanson’s design references history with the year of Chestertown’s founding, 1706, and borrows the crest shape from the Calvert family arms featured on the Maryland State Seal. The Chester River is represented by a blue stripe that traverses the crest on the diagonal. The “river” is bordered by a green space, and the Town is represented by a star on this left “bank.”
The wordmark combines two contrasting typefaces to reflect Chestertown’s past and future. According to a statement from the designers, Halis Black, used for “Main Street” is a bold and dynamic sans-serif font that suggests the forward-looking energy of Chestertown’s economic development initiatives. And Fournier, the elegant serif font used for “CHESTERTOWN,” conveys the town’s timeless character and historical importance. A final design element, a blue star in the upper left corner of the wordmark, adds visual sophistication and relates to the star on the crest. As part of their entry, Behr and Swanson included examples of how the logo could be applied to everything from business cards to baseball caps and banners.
The logo contest was announced in late August with a single prize of $1,000 to the winner. “Main Street Chestertown is deeply grateful to all the designers, professional and amateur, who devoted time and talent to entering the logo competition,” said the organization’s manager, Kay MacIntosh. “We saw a lot of creativity and a lot of affection for Chestertown in the submissions.”
Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson are the married illustrator/writer duo behind Idiots’Books, Bobbledy Books and “The Real McCoys,” a series of illustrated books for elementary school students published by Macmillan. They live and work in Chestertown’s Historic District. Behr is an illustrator and designer who has developed logos and identity systems for a wide variety of businesses and organizations, including RiverArts’ KidSpot, Evergrain Bread Company, and the Chestertown Arts & Entertainment District. Swanson has spent 15 years developing identities and marketing platforms for dozens of colleges and universities.