Brand Strategy and Moodboard

Following a successful second trip to Two Rivers — where we engaged more with the public, held a workshop with City leaders, and took part in some key tourism activities — we are excited to share the approved brand strategy and moodboard for the brand.

The brand strategy is made of three components: brand principles, style diagnostics, and brand goals. The moodboard is the visual representation of the brand’s feel and is reflective of the brand strategy.


Brand principles are fundamental truths about the brand that we uncover through our process, and they can be both factual and aspirational. They are defining factors that should be communicated by the brand — in design elements, messaging, public events and more.

Following our visits, meetings, interactions, and opportunities to truly grasp the feel of the city, we have established the following brand principles for Two Rivers:

When you’re in Two Rivers, a sense of timelessness surrounds you. We’re a quaint small town that gives off a feeling that transcends generations, and it’s reflected in our architecture, in our values, in the way a friendly neighbor greets you on Washington Street. Even new things we do are done in a timeless way.

Creative and Entrepreneurial
In our early history there were countless entrepreneurs who came up with creative solutions to problems. From fishermen to industry leaders, people weren’t afraid to strike out on their own in the pursuit of something better. There’s now an opportunity to reclaim this spirit in a way that feels right for a new era of Two Rivers.

There’s a comfort to your time here — many of us don’t even lock our front doors. Our goal is to make you feel at home. We want Two Rivers to be a place where you can relax, let go and be yourself.


Style diagnostics are written descriptions of the visual style of the brand. They define the look and feel of brand elements. For Two Rivers, the style diagnostics are:

There is no denying that the Twin Rivers and Lake Michigan play a large role in the City’s resources, recreational activities, and economy, giving the brand a nautical element.

A word we’ve heard a lot through our conversations with people, but have also experienced on our own through our visits to Two Rivers, is quaint. There is definitely a vintage, classic feel that the brand should embody, which ties nicely into the Timeless brand principle.

Texture / Character
The City is rooted in its history and the brand should reflect this through interesting textures and imperfect elements.

The lake changes and looks different every day, just as Two Rivers is evolving into a new version of itself. While older industries have left, there is opportunity for new businesses and for residents to refocus themselves on what is important in this era of Two Rivers.


The brand goals identify what we want to achieve with the brand. There are two main goals that this branding initiative should help accomplish.

The first, and primary goal, is best summed up by the phrase, “Looking back to go forward.” For Two Rivers this means being cognizant of the City’s history but embracing the next era of Two Rivers — turning back toward the water, rediscovering the entrepreneurial spirit, creating opportunity, and addressing building & lot vacancies should all be part of this ‘Two Rivers 2.0.’

The second goal is to make Manitowoc both an audience and an asset. Two Rivers can leverage the greater brand recognition of the larger city from a tourism perspective in order to draw more people to the area as a whole, while also marketing to Manitowoc residents to get them to visit, start a business, work or live in Two Rivers. It’s a town of over 30,000 people — that should be utilized.


After developing the brand strategy — the combination of brand principles, style diagnostics and brand goals — our next step was to design the brand’s moodboard.

A moodboard acts as a visual representation of the brand’s strategy and feel. Its purpose is to serve as an inspiration board of sorts as we begin to develop brand elements — think of it as a Pinterest board for the Two Rivers brand. It is a mix of photos, iconography, patterns, textures, type treatments, etc. that are evocative of the brand strategy and will guide the design phase of the project. The moodboard should feel like an elevated, grown up version of the Two Rivers you know now in order to push the brand forward toward achieving its goals.

The moodboard feeds deeply into Two Rivers’ nautical ambiance, represented by water, rich emeralds and muted salmon tones, while a vintage, classic, and calm aesthetic is present to represent Two Rivers’ quaint and charming environment. This feeling is illustrated by the use of dusty blue tones as well as classic images, welcoming downtown storefronts, and calming strolls down timeless streets.

It was important for us to give a nod towards Two Rivers’ industrial history in the moodboard as well. The industrial warehouses, weathered fishing boats, and distinguished buildings result in an undeniable sense of character and texture present throughout the City. Rust and gold tones play on industrialized surroundings, while ovalesque stamps and hand-drawn fonts complement the aforementioned sense of imperfection and texture. Together all of these elements combine to communicate the sense of change and evolution that should be expressed by the brand.


Both the brand strategy and moodboard have been approved by City Council. Our next step is to begin translating the above concepts and strategy into brand elements and expressions.

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