Mountain Empire Community College 50th Anniversary Logo

Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) has a rich history rooted in mountain culture, music, and craftsmanship. The college provides Southwest Virginia with accessible, quality higher education, workforce training, and community programs to ensure an educated population and globally competitive workforce while continuing to honoring its legacy.

2021 marks the college’s 50th anniversary, and MECC was in need of a logo for its landmark festivities. The school offered the opportunity to their in-house design department and invited our team at Hillhouse Creative to throw our hat in the ring. As an added incentive, whomever MECC chose would also get to create additional marketing collateral throughout the year.

After discussing necessary elements for the logo with MECC, and revisiting color palettes and other visual identity details, we were ready to put pencils to paper and get creative.



We know attention spans are short. Two seconds is about all you have to convince your consumer your product has value. So our initial thought was to keep the logo design simple.

It’s easy for anniversary logos to become visually overwhelming and complicated. We knew our design needed to be bold and simple.

It became clear early on the logo should include the MECC mountain. This would be the key to creating something that not only felt on brand but was also iconic.

Meaning Behind the Design

Because MECC prides itself on its history, we wanted to incorporate it in our concept exploration. This design gave a nod to MECC’s arts and crafts heritage. We experimented with a brush effect, which gave the logo a more dynamic feel and still prominently featured the mountain icon.

Combining, Refining, and Presenting

After several concept iterations, we realized using the negative shape of the mountain and staying true to the current brand colors, produced the strongest logo concepts.

Continuing with this approach, we also introduced a badge format, thinking this would offer MECC additional flexibility in how the logo could be used.

At this point, it became easier to simplify and narrow down the concepts to present. We arrived at four distinct concepts that were strong, bold, and easy to read.

And the Winner Is …

MECC loved all the concepts and chose the badge concept as their final selection. In fact, they were so happy with all the concepts, they also decided to use the dominant 50 with the mountains concept as a secondary, simplified version. After some final tweaks, the winning logos were approved, and our agency was honored to get to work on some of the first marketing materials for upcoming anniversary year.

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