The Downtown Development Review Board of the City Office of Economic Development approved the new signage Thursday after deferring action at its September meeting on the application to replace existing signs at the top of the building.
The deferral was based on concerns about the design of the font used for the new Aetna brand and the color – violet – of the new logo.
Mike Lauretano Sr., president of Terryville, Conn.-based Lauretano Sign Group that was hired by Aetna to facilitate the companywide brand change, explained the marketing concepts behind the new logo.
“This is a fast-paced world. The consumer needs to have clarity. That comes from an effective branding program,” he said.
Lauretano said his company consulted with Aetna on the design of the letters and the color of the logo.
“It’s the most elegant violet. It’s a bold statement. It’s what they want,” he said.
The Aetna Building in Jacksonville was designated by company officials as a high-priority location, second only to the company’s corporate headquarters.
“Aetna said there are two important sites – Hartford, Conn. and Jacksonville, Fla. – based on exposure and traffic,” Lauretano said.
Attorney Wyman Duggan represented Aetna at the meeting. He said the design of the letters and the color are choices that are made solely by the company that owns a brand or logo.
“This board cannot regulate the inherent qualities of a logo,” he said.
Duggan also addressed the board’s concerns about the size of the new signs. He said the replacements on the north and south sides of the building will be the smallest since the structure was dedicated.
When the Prudential Building opened in 1955, the signs were 2,096 square feet, Duggan said. The signs were replaced in 1986 with 1,440-square-foot signs. The dimensions of the existing signs are 1,046 square feet.
Betsy Reichert, vice president of operations for South Shore Group Partners LLC, the owner of the building, said the new signs could be on the building by Nov. 1.
“We’re ready. I’ve had the permits for six weeks. The only thing pending was the DDRB approval,” she said.
Downtown Jacksonville’s skyline will have a different look when the new corporate brand logo of Aetna Inc. is installed on the Aetna Building on the Southbank.