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New Oklahoma logo, brand unveiled

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell unveiled the state’s new brand Wednesday after a monthslong creative process that started last summer.

The colorful new logo and tagline that implores people to imagine all of the state’s possibilities will appear on state agency websites, tourism efforts and new, “Welcome to Oklahoma” signs.

In future years, the logo also may appear on Oklahoma license plates.

To develop the brand, Pinnell recruited some of the state’s top advertising, graphic design, photography, public relations and branding experts as volunteers.

“Their task was to develop a cohesive, new brand for Oklahoma that best represents our heritage and history, our booming industry, our beautiful, one of a kind vistas, and most importantly, our greatest asset — our people,” Pinnell said.

Pinnell likened the process to creating an advertising agency devoted to promoting the state. The creative professionals were aided by an international branding firm, Operative Brand Consulting. The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department contracted to pay the the Canadian company up to $415,000.

Operative has been paid $259,065. The state paid about $100,000 and private groups covered the other costs, Pinnell said, calling it a bargain.

As for why the state chose a Canadian company, Pinnell said if they had chosen an Oklahoma advertising or branding firm, none of the other creatives in the state would have volunteered their time.

"We’ve got world-class (creative) companies here," he said. "They all helped, but we had to make sure we had a neutral facilitator."

Creating a brand for Oklahoma was about capturing the state's unique identity as a friendly, welcoming state that offers people the chance for opportunity, Pinnell said.

The colorful elements of the new logo, inspired by the diverse natural areas found in the state, form a circle intended to highlight Oklahoma as a hub at the center of America, Pinnell said. The star at the center is an homage to the state's original flag that showed 46, because Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union, in the center of a white star.

The tagline “Imagine that,” which also will be used on promotional materials, attempts to highlight all of the things that make Oklahoma unique. At a press conference, Pinnell rattled off a series of facts, such as Oklahoma has the world's largest collection of western art, more shoreline than the Atlantic coast and the most diverse terrain in the nation.

At the event, Stitt said he traveled a lot as a businessman in the private sector and maybe even more so now as governor.

"I’m constantly surprised by how little that people know about Oklahoma," he said. Oklahoma's history is rich with stories like the historic Land Run and people moving out west to start new lives."

Stitt also pushed back against the idea that Oklahoma is a flyover state. The new brand made by Oklahomans, for Oklahomans and state pride will send a message to the world that Oklahoma is the place to be, he said.

"We're not a flyover state," Stitt said. "Oklahoma is a destination."

An accompanying video of the brand rollout shows high-quality footage of some Oklahoma state parks, top urban travel destinations and various state landmarks.

“This state offers the most diverse terrain in the land, which is as diverse as the people who call it home,” the narrator says. “This is Oklahoma. The hub of America. Imagine that.”

In his proposed executive budget, Stitt requested the Legislature appropriate $2 million for the branding initiative in the next budget cycle.

Stitt said that money would be used to pay for billboards and advertising in other states to help attract more visitors to Oklahoma.

Pinnell's office has hired a new employee to oversee the rollout of the Oklahoma brand. The state's tourism website already is selling Oklahoma merchandise branded with the new logo.

Installation will begin on new welcome signs starting Thursday, and the new branding will soon be all over state agency websites, Pinnell said.

"This is Day One of the transformation," he said.

Related Photos
<strong>Oklahoma's governor and lieutenant governor unveiled the state's new logo Wednesday. The colorful elements were inspired by nature and form a circle intended to highlight Oklahoma as a hub at the center of America.</strong>

Oklahoma's governor and lieutenant governor unveiled the state's new logo Wednesday. The colorful elements were inspired by nature and form a circle intended to highlight Oklahoma as a hub at the center of America.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a52b11c1f72e5f30f67104b3ad3dfcfb.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma's governor and lieutenant governor unveiled the state's new logo Wednesday. The colorful elements were inspired by nature and form a circle intended to highlight Oklahoma as a hub at the center of America. " title=" Oklahoma's governor and lieutenant governor unveiled the state's new logo Wednesday. The colorful elements were inspired by nature and form a circle intended to highlight Oklahoma as a hub at the center of America. "><figcaption> Oklahoma's governor and lieutenant governor unveiled the state's new logo Wednesday. The colorful elements were inspired by nature and form a circle intended to highlight Oklahoma as a hub at the center of America. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7c2eb3a044e931719704a44d4b19d5aa.jpg" alt="Photo - Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-fed7764b8347e4f0228189668b0cf3b3.jpg" alt="Photo - From left, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell put the new logo in front of the podium during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="From left, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell put the new logo in front of the podium during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>From left, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell put the new logo in front of the podium during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ca169bc1b5c42041c699c743544f05e6.jpg" alt="Photo - Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-318b218b802e98aa4e79275759b2417e.jpg" alt="Photo - From left, Steve Hendrickson, director of government affairs for Boeing, and Gov. Kevin Stitt watch a video during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="From left, Steve Hendrickson, director of government affairs for Boeing, and Gov. Kevin Stitt watch a video during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>From left, Steve Hendrickson, director of government affairs for Boeing, and Gov. Kevin Stitt watch a video during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bed380c3460e1a886fb631d323a431ae.jpg" alt="Photo - From right, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks as Gov. Kevin Stitt and Steve Hendrickson, director of government affairs for Boeing, applaud during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="From right, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks as Gov. Kevin Stitt and Steve Hendrickson, director of government affairs for Boeing, applaud during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>From right, Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks as Gov. Kevin Stitt and Steve Hendrickson, director of government affairs for Boeing, applaud during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ed5804128e9aa0c8905d94eb0f0810e9.jpg" alt="Photo - Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title="Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Thunder's headquarters inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e05cd61e167b80a287f0e79624f0fef2.jpg" alt="Photo - Steve Hendrickson, left, director of government affairs for Boeing, and Gov. Kevin Stitt watch a video during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title=" Steve Hendrickson, left, director of government affairs for Boeing, and Gov. Kevin Stitt watch a video during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Steve Hendrickson, left, director of government affairs for Boeing, and Gov. Kevin Stitt watch a video during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6556f14bc909bc757f2e67c032519099.jpg" alt="Photo - Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks Wednesday during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] " title=" Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks Wednesday during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell speaks Wednesday during the unveiling of the new brand for Oklahoma. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Carmen Forman

Carmen Forman covers the state Capitol and governor's office for The Oklahoman. A Norman native and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she previously covered state politics in Virginia and Arizona before returning to Oklahoma. Read more ›

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