It was a beautiful day and launch for Made in New Haven. The New Haven Museum was packed with well wishers for this new business venture.
When Jamie Freda starts manufacturing and distributing her gluten-free pasta, she will put stickers on the packages featuring a newly unveiled “Made in New Haven” logo.
Freda, the founder of “Project Pasta,” is one of several business owners planning to participate in the city’s new branding campaign for enterprises that produce or sell goods in New Haven.
The campaign was unveiled at a press conference Wednesday at the New Haven Museum. The museum currently has an exhibit, called “From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven,” that served as the backdrop to the launch.
Steve Fontana, deputy director of economic development, said the logo will help brand New Haven as a “place where people make great products” and turn into a “mark of distinction.”
New Haven competes with other cities to be the home for innovators and manufacturers. “Anything we can do to establish where great products come from ... can only help,” Fontana said. “We’re trying to impress on them that we’re a place uniquely suited to help them.”
Mayor Toni Harp said the logo will “showcase New Haven as a home of people with great ideas” and help market the city and its products to the outside world.
Kate Stephen, a jewelry maker with a studio at West River Arts, created a hand-formed solid brass pendant for Mayor Harp with the phrase “Made In New Haven” hand-stamped into the metal. She helped the mayor take off her necklace and put on the pendant before addressing the crowd.
Three types of business can apply to participate in the campaign: manufacturers that make products in or in honor of New Haven, retail companies that sell these products, and web-based businesses that promote the city.
Business owners will then be provided with a customized license agreement, files of the logo and a branding guide to allow them to use the logo in their own marketing plans free of charge, said Elinor Slomba, campaign manager.
They will be encouraged to use the mark on packaging, shipping containers, in store displays, on retail bags, on websites and inside offices, as well as in other advertising, she said.
The campaign will also build community among large manufacturers and smaller retail outlets, through a Facebook group just for participants, Slomba said.
Freda plans to open Project Pasta as a raw, vegan, grain-free market in Wooster Square in the next month. She received permission from the zoning board last month to move into 516 Chapel St., which used to house Fuel coffee shop.
She is currently running a small-scale operation, selling pasta by weight. Eventually, she plans to have a sticker with the Made in New Haven logo right next to the nutritional facts, to be distributed beyond the city.
Neville Wisdom, noted fashion designer, is not yet sure how he wants to incorporate the logo, but is excited about the marketing opportunities. He is considering having a “Made in New Haven” tag on his clothing or stickers to hand out to customers or feature in his store.
Artist Kelly Bigelow Becerra researched New Haven’s graphic design history to find the right images for the logo. She wanted a mark that would stand out among other cities’ logos.
She pulled the border from New Haven’s 1845 Postmaster’s Provisional stamps. When brainstorming colors, she was drawn to the “idea of a golden stamp of approval.” Some of the available logos have a golden background.
Ultimately, Becerra chose elm trees and the river front for the images on the logo, drawing from a botanical book to create the final graphic. She said she wanted to promote New Haven as a “place where innovators here come to be mindful.”