A new logo for the city revealed on Monday really tries to put the “Colorado” in “Colorado Springs.”
Troy and Sara DeRose of Fixer Creative Co., who designed the logo, said they wanted to capture both the iconic image of Pikes Peak and the energy of the city at its foot by wrapping the “C” from the Colorado state flag around a view of the mountain with Garden of the Gods in the foreground.
The orange-and-blue in the design may remind some viewers of the Denver Broncos’ colors, Troy DeRose said, but those are what he sees when he looks at Colorado Springs.
“I spent some time checking out the Garden of the Gods and the landscape of the city,” DeRose said. “Those were the exact colors I saw when I looked at the city: It’s the red-orange of Garden of the Gods, it’s the deep blue of Pikes Peak and it’s the light blue of the sky.”
Christopher Schell of the local firm Design Rangers led the curation team that picked the new logo. He said it packs a lot into a simple image.
“It’s meant to be very simple and very easy to communicate: A stop sign communicates a lot in a simple octagon,” Schell said. “I feel that this logo accomplishes that and I think it makes a bold statement, too. There was some talk about using the ‘C’ from the Colorado flag and is that risky? I think Colorado Springs is making kind of a bold statement of being the quintessential Colorado town.”
This logo is a do-over for the city’s branding task force, an independent group of local agencies interested in marketing Colorado Springs to tourists, businesses and residents.
When the original branding was revealed in November after months of community meetings and focus groups, it generated a storm of controversy for the Live it up! tagline, which many people saw as too generic, and the stylized Pikes Peak that accompanied it.
Tucker Wannamaker of Magneti Marketing and his business partner Marcus Haggard launched a “Rebrand the Springs” campaign. That led to a meeting between the branding task force and a group of local designers, which in turn led to a call for a new logo in December. Fixer Creative Co. was selected out of 27 proposals from local designers to develop the logo.
Wannamaker said he thinks Fixer’s finished product is “awesome.”
“I love the vision behind it,” he said. “It was a strong statement of quality to the rest of Colorado that we have legit creative talent down here and we are on the map.”
The DeRoses said wanted to break up the tagline and logo and allow the image to speak for itself.
“People were pretty vocal about the (original) logo, but they were really vocal about the tagline,” Sara DeRose said. “You can’t task a phrase to be a tagline for an entire community as diverse as ours.”
Wannamaker said the sample advertising treatments Fixer came up with using the logo and “Live it up” put both elements in context.
“We’re not telling people, ‘Just go out and party,” he said of the tagline as it’s used in the sample ads. “It really helps shape the discussion and what we mean by ‘up’ and what we mean by ‘live’ — instead of just saying, ‘Come out to Colorado Springs,’ just like you would come out to Vegas — which is not what they meant, but they didn’t provide context.”
Fixer Creative was paid $3,000 for its work and three other finalists for the design contract were paid $1,000 each, all of which came from private donations to the branding task force.
The initial branding effort that kicked this off cost $111,000, most of which was paid for by the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, which receives much of its funding from the city’s hotel and car tax, and from the Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp.
Chelsy Murphy, public relations manager for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the branding effort was a year-long process that included community meetings, interviews, research and polling, much of that done by the locally-based branding firm Stone Mantel.
“The idea of branding the destination is taking what your community stands for and revealing that. You’re telling the truth about what you are,” Murphy said. “People see these assets of a logo and a tagline and they think that’s what the money went to and it’s not.”
Murphy said the visitors bureau will use the new logo and the ad ideas Fixer created in its summer advertising campaigns. The logo, branding and guidelines for using them are available and free to anyone in the community at LiveItUpCS.co.
Like the logo? get a sticker
If you like the new logo, you can pick up one of three free bumper stickers featuring the new design at one of these locations:
Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, 515 S. Cascade Ave.
The Blue Star Restaurant, 1625 S. Tejon St.
Nosh, inside Plaza of the Rockies at 121 S. Tejon St.
LA’AU’s Taco Shop, 1605 S. Cascade Ave.
The CSK Group, fourth floor of the Hibbard Building at 19 S. Tejon St.
The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corp. , Suite 430 102 S. Tejon St.