Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New logo: Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, the second largest city in Colorado, unveiled a new logo on Monday, April 2. The logo was developed by a local design firm called Fixer Creative on the behalf on a "Community Branding Task Force", headed by the convention and visitors bureau.

The task force had unveiled a new logo back in November, developed through focus groups and research. It also included a new tagline, "Live it up!", a reference to the city's high altitude and big plans. But the logo was (rightly) rejected by the community, and the protests caused the task force to announce a new logo process the following month.

The new symbol combines the C symbol from Colorado's state flag with the Pikes Peak, located near the city. The "Live it up!" slogan is no longer a permanent part of the logo, rather it is a "temporary marketing slogan". The symbol is supported by fresh and very contemporary typography, using both Pragmatica Slabserif and Verlag.

The rejected logo unveiled in November.

Stacked version.

Black version.

From a press release issued April 2:
Christopher Schell, Vice President of Design Rangers and leader of the Curator Team, confirms the logo’s creative strengths. “The logo positions Colorado Springs as the quintessential Colorado city. More than a piece of art, the logo is something that people can rally behind and be proud of.” John Pierce, U.S. Olympic Committee Managing Director of Marketing Services and Curator Team member, points out that “this is more than just a stand-alone logo. It fits seamlessly with the city brand essence and has the opportunity to be timeless." Cheryl Farr, Principal and Chief Strategy Officer at The CSK Group, confirms that it feels “modern, captures Colorado Springs’ uniqueness and is highly competitive relative to first-class destinations.”

Colorado Springs residents and co-owners of Fixer Creative Co., Troy and Sara DeRose, have lived in Colorado most of their lives. “This project was not just a professional interest of ours, but a passion project that we felt strongly about from the beginning. Our overarching goal as design professionals, and residents, was to create a logo that represented the Colorado Springs identity in an authentic, compelling way,” Sara says. Fixer Creative says the new Colorado Springs logo is distinctive, setting the community apart from other destinations in the state, and competes with the marks of other destination cities similar to Colorado Springs. “The logo is confident, professional and bold. It captures the essence of a diverse city that lives by doing. We designed the logo to capture the look and feel of living in view of a majestic mountain, and the energy that comes from existing in such a setting. The colors we see in the logo are the same colors we find outside—a visual reminder of our truly beautiful environment and all of the unique lives, activities and stories that unfold here,” explains Troy.

Fixer Creative also recommended that the tagline be separated from the logo and softened by removing the exclamation point. They suggested the tagline should only be used when context could be established. The Curator Team and Branding Task Force agreed. After seeing such a strong execution, CVB Vice President of Marketing & Membership Amy Long concurs, “due to the insightful ad campaign recommendations by Fixer Creative, we better understand the potential of the ‘Live it up’ tagline as a campaign element rather than a permanent tagline. The concept of living it up is an idea and feeling that is described through imagery, verbiage and context. We don't use the phrase ‘Live it up’ verbatim in every communication, but the concept is there to reinforce the literal and figurative elevation that the city and region represent.” The CVB has already adopted this new approach in their marketing and communication strategies, and will be working with other organizations throughout the region to incorporate the brand into their communications.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As with many other public logo unveilings, there have been some accusations about plagiarism. In this case, many are drawing comparisons to the Obama logo, no doubt fueled by their similar shapes and colours, and to a lesser extent the similar typography. Radio Colorado College found that a lot of other city logos were also Obama logo rip-offs, and put together the following hilarious video, mocking the controversy:

Fixer Creative
Colorado Springs CVB
Brand Identity Guidelines
The Gazette

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