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NHLA Unveils New Logo
New NHLA: World’s largest and oldest hardwood industry association launches new logo and branding focus.

By Staff
Date Posted: 9/1/2008

   One of the oldest institutions in the forest products industry is undergoing a major identity shift. The National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) has been the keeper of the rules and standards for the North American hardwood industry for 110 years. While it will continue this vital role, the association is also branching out to include a more global audience and comprehensive member services. To capture this shifting focus, the NHLA is launching a branding effort that includes a new logo.

   The familiar NHLA shield logo will be replaced this month with a leaf design that includes the letter H in the middle. Underneath NHLA in a bold font is the tag line “Strong roots. Global reach.”

   Mark Barford, the executive director of NHLA, said, “We are not throwing out the old logo because it is bad. We are installing the new logo because it is good and showcases our efforts to meet the current needs of our members.

   The NHLA used an outside consulting firm to develop the logo after surveying both lumber manufacturers and buyers. The entire process took more than 18 months to complete.

   The logo features five key brand attributes:

   1.) We are the voice of the industry.

   2.) Our standards mean quality.

   3.) We stay informed, current and relevant.

   4.) We are visionaries for the industry.

   5.) We exist for our members.

   The NHLA re-branding effort comes as changes in the industry mean companies are using its grading services less and less while the grades themselves are as important as ever. “We are more than just a grading agency,” said Mark.

   Members can migrate to the new logo as it fits their business situation. Grading stamps and stationary may take longer to transition than some other uses of the NHLA logo. Mark said that the NHLA has expected some initial push back from some in the hardwood industry because the old logo has been such a familiar icon for years. But he added that the new design is growing on people as they see how the new logo conveys the concept that hardwoods fit into the modern world.

   The new, more modern logo will help the NHLA as it fights to expand the use of hardwoods among architects, designers, eco-conscientious consumers, building contractors, etc.

   Orange and brown are the two colors used in the logo. Mark said that they considered using green to highlight the eco friendly nature of wood, but they decided to stick with the colors that promoted the contrast between softwood and hardwood lumber.

   A major aspect of the new logo is the tag line that promotes the global reach of the organization. Increasingly, the NHLA is working to establish its international presence according to Mark. It now has consultants in Asia and Europe that are helping it promote North American hardwoods. Also, NHLA is working closer than ever with the American Hardwood Export Council to educate buyers around the world.

   Visit www.nhla.com for more information on the association’s new logo.


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