Convention center now has its brand

Logo to market city as regional destination

HARLINGEN — It’s officially branded.

An arched, cream-toned “H” stands against a deep-blue background bearing the building’s name — Harlingen Convention Center.

Earlier this week, city commissioners approved the $16.7 million convention center’s logo — the design that will promote the city’s centerpiece in advertising, marketing and signage.

BC Lynd Hospitality, the company that will operate the convention center, presented the logo designed by Alexander Hilmy, owner of Hilmy The Design Firm in San Antonio.

“The boldness of all the design work you did — the impact of the letters is right on,” City Commissioner Victor Leal said during Tuesday’s meeting. “We could have just used our Harlingen logo but I think we’re upping it up. This is a regional convention center for South Texas and we want people to come here.”

The logo features an arched letter H, representing Harlingen along with the tall arches decorating the convention center’s windows, Hilmy, a former Harlingen resident, told commissioners Tuesday night.

“We’re trying to pay homage to what’s already being done there so there’s a visual tie-in,” Hilmy said, referring to the logo’s arch design. “We played off some of the earth tones which have to do not only with the city of Harlingen but some of the color ways going into the actual building of the convention center.”

The design includes the name “Harlingen Convention Center” appearing in stacked, upper-case lettering.

“We want to give it a relatively contemporary look without completely abandoning a civic nature,” said Hilmy, who has also worked for the city of San Antonio.

Hilmy said the logo’s design will be used in advertising, marketing and signage to help promote and “brand” of the convention center for such events as medical conferences, functions of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, weddings and quinceañeras.

“The goal will be to make this convention center iconic,” Clyde Johnson, BC Lynd’s co-founder, said. “We want to let people feel like it’s tied to the city of Harlingen and we want it to be a recognizable spot. Ultimately, we want to sell the convention center for people to utilize it.”

The PowerPoint presentation included the name Harlingen Convention Center appearing in large, upper-case lettering running along about half of the building’s roofline.

Commissioner Tudor Uhlhorn suggested that design feature LED lighting.

BC Lynd continues to work on that design, City Manager Dan Serna said.

Serna has said the convention center’s construction is expected to be completed in January, about four months behind schedule.

On the eight-acre site at Teege and Harlingen Heights roads, San Antonio-based BC Lynd plans to build an attached $20 million, six-story, 150-room Hilton Garden Inn, which is apparently about a year behind schedule.