The state of Colorado has unveiled a new $1.5 million logo and slogan to a rather underwhelming response.
The state’s new official brand is a clip-art-like green triangle meant to resemble a snow-peaked mountain, with the letters “CO” in the middle.
The new state slogan is “It’s our nature.”
The logo was immediately panned as looking like a hazmat placard or a traffic sign. Comments on Making Colorado’s Facebook page pulled no punches.
“It’s a green triangle, [sorry], have you ever seen a triangular free-standing mountain like that in CO?” wrote one person. “This is what I would expect to see a 1st grader draw when asked to draw the mountains.”
When the site administrator promised the new logo would “grown on you,” the person quipped, “Cancer will grow on you too, doesn’t mean you don’t want to get rid of it.”
The site’s “About” page describes Making Colorado, the marketing arm of the state government, as “the most inclusive, collaborative and ambitious branding effort ever undertaken by a state.”
“Rather than hiring an individual branding agency to define Colorado,” it says, “we’re tapping into the energy and expertise of individuals across the state with an innovative discovery process, collaborative positioning phase and inclusive identity creation, to build a brand for Colorado, by Colorado.”
The state’s tourism office paid $800,000 for the design of the new logo, with corporate sponsors kicking in an additional $700,000. It will be used on everything from letterhead to business cards to vehicle emblems. Among other things, it’s meant to make Colorado attractive to tourists. The new logo is one of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s goals for economic development.
Even the Denver Post weighed in with an editorial expressing its distaste, wondering why the marketing effort ignored Colorado’s bold and distinctive flag.
“[H]ow did we end up with such a pedestrian new logo?” the paper asked. “And really, how forward-thinking is it to use our state’s postal code — CO — as a central element?”
“The truth is, Colorado already had a perfectly good symbol that was begging to be used for this effort: the state flag.”
Others feel the same way.
“Wake me when this flops and we can go back to enjoying our state flag again,” wrote another commenter on Making Colorado’s Facebook page.
Despite its aesthetic shortcomings, the logo’s defenders say it will save the state money.
“This brand will not only help Colorado attract talent and jobs,” Aaron Kennedy, the state’s chief marketing officer, told the Denver Post, “but also save public dollars by eliminating the need to manage individual brands for each agency and department in state government.”
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