Arlington will be a diverse and inclusive world-class urban community with secure, attractive residential and commercial neighborhoods where people unite to form a caring, learning, participating, sustainable community in which each person is important.
The County's visual identity dates back at least to at least 1972, when one of the earliest seals was used on items such as letterhead. Though similar to today's seal, representing Arlington House, it contained the date 1801 within the circle. A bit of controversy ensued (via an article in the Arlington Journal), and the date was removed in 1976. In 1980, in an effort to better market itself and foster a more recognizable image, the County created a new logo, containing Arlington House in front of a large "A."
The seal as we know it today was designed by an Arlington resident as an entry in the County's 1983 flag design contest. To further bring this vision to life — and reflect Arlington's reputation as a sophisticated urban destination — Arlington adopted a new logo in 2004. The seal is reserved for use by the Arlington County Board and other areas where an official seal of the government is important.
2007 update: To read a more detailed history of the County seal, click here.
Arlington's Visual Identity: A Picture History
|1960's: This "engraved" graphic is one of the earliest County seals. Note the year 1801 at the bottom of Arlington House.|
|1976: The 1801 date below Arlington House was removed due to a minor controversy. The Sept. 9, 1976 Journal Newspaper reported that "Although it has been in use for about 10 years, there is a factual error in the Arlington County seal…" People could not agree to the date of the official founding of Arlington County and the decision was made to remove the date. Read about the controversy.|
|1983: The "A" logo was part of Arlington's early marketing effort. Although the logo was to be used on everything from signs to decals, it was used sporadically, and the County did not truly have an official "mark" until 1983 when the winning seal of the County's flag design contest was announced.|
1985: This is an example of the seal in use after the County Board adopted the flag design, which included the seal. The flag was designed by County resident Harvey Wilcox, who added the state flower (dogwoods).
|2004: To further Arlington's vision to life — and reflect Arlington's reputation as a sophisticated urban destination — Arlington adopted a new logo in 2004. The new logo conceptually captures who we are as well as what we aspire to be as a community. The logo is evocative of our history and our traditions. At the same time, its clean, contemporary lines denote a community capable of transformation.|
|2004: The Arlington County seal as it appeared in use in 2004.|
|2007: In May 2007, the Arlington County Board approved an updated official Arlington County seal. The action will help ensure that the seal is used as a bold, clear, graphically crisp symbol, true to the spirit of the official seal originally adopted in 1983. The seal is used for all items related to the Arlington County Board. It is also used to mark all items of a permanent and lasting nature.|
To read a more detailed description of the history and reasons behind the 2007 update, click here.