First things first. Congratulations to all involved in the design of Colorado's catchy new logo - hee-hee, snort-snort, chuckle-chuckle.
The simple green triangle (LOL) with a snow-capped tip above the letters "CO," could not be more cute. It is a masterpiece of minimalist beauty that instantly summarizes the aesthetic appeal of our state (art critics, we are not). The symbol may become a fixture on automotive bumpers - or a tattoo on gang-members' foreheads. However displayed, the symbol will scream "Colorado."
While climbing way out on a limb to praise this symbol, we cannot help but join the uproarious laughter heard throughout the world. Please take no offense, but we just gotta laugh.
We chortle because the logo cost $2.6 million. And that's not all. The graphic, we're told, resulted from a year of painstaking process that included public input from throughout Colorado. It's reminiscent of the yearlong, $111,000 process that gave Colorado Springs a simple mountain symbol to accompany the vacuous slogan "Live it Up!"
Unlike our displeasure with Colorado Springs' branding disappointment, our laughter isn't entirely critical regarding the green triangle. The $2.65 million came from private donations of cash and $1.5 million worth of in-kind donations. So there's no bellyaching here about misuse of public funds. If private interests want to give $2.6 million for a green triangle any fifth-grade art class could produce, have at it.
While choosing simplicity was wise, our minds produce such images for free. This didn't require Milton Glaser. Almost anyone could have visualized and executed the triangle in about 2 minutes, producing it with any standard online graphics program.
Think about $2.6 million dollars. For most Americans, that's a substantial sum. Properly managed, it could feed, shelter, clothe and educate a few chosen orphans from cradle to grave.
The amount expended on this image could buy a four-year degree from Harvard - 12 times. For $2.6 million, one could buy a 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan - the country's highest-ranked luxury car - 30 times.
The University of Colorado College of Nursing spent $2.6 million to educate 50,000 professionals to convert the country to electronic health records for Obamacare.
Colorado State University spent $2.6 million, awarded by the Centers for Disease Control, to conduct three years of cutting-edge research to stop the widespread transmission of avian flu.
Synergy Resources spent $2.6 million to buy 8,875 acres in mineral interests in Weld, Morgan and Larimer counties that will create jobs and facilitate oil and gas production for decades to come.
For $2.6 million, the Colorado Rockies acquired center fielder David Dahl - the 10th overall selection in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft.
The triangle cost 10 times more than East Coast billionaire Eli Broad just paid to save Colorado Senate President John Morse from a Sept. 10 recall.
This could go on, but let's agree that $2.6 million is a whopping chunk of change. We are confident most designers at publications, marketing firms, copy centers or tattoo parlors would deliver the triangle for $50 bucks and a six pack of beer.
That's why we die laughing and the social blogosphere feeds on this story like maggots on a dead moose.
But let's catch our breath and move on for a moment. The logo is great. It promotes our state in a simple, instant and positive way. It could, over scores of decades, benefit our state by more than $2.6 million. So let's slap it on and show the world we're proud of Colorado's snow-capped beauty. Love or hate it, the green triangle will always provide a healthy laugh.