After a thorough, year-long branding process that ended with vocal community backlash against their original logo design, the Colorado Springs Branding Task Force, as commissioned by Visit Colorado Springs, along with a newly appointed Design Curator Team, presented an open request for local designers to redesign the branding, and we were selected among the competition to redesign the Visit Colorado Springs tourism identity and create the advertising campaign launch.
Following the branding strategy we began the process of working with the Curator Team to create a new mark that fit the brand truths of the city which emphasized being Alive, Vibrant, Rugged, and Exceptional, in a way that was clean and contemporary.
With outdoor tourism being a mainstay of activity in Colorado Springs, we wanted a brand identity that felt like it lived in the outdoor brand landscape. We chose to illustrate two of the most rugged and exceptional outdoor features our city has to offer — Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.
To express how Colorado Springs exemplifies the Colorado experience, we merged those landscape features with the “C” logo from the iconic Colorado state flag.
Part of our task was also to work with the originally selected tagline of “Live it Up”, which along with the original identity also received a fair share of criticism. When we first heard the tagline of “live it up”, we honestly cringed. Once we heard their explanation and how they came up with the sentiment of living it up–living at a high altitude, with big plans and expectations of excellence–it made a lot more sense, but we felt those sentiments were not being communicated in a tagline that made everyone envision a wild spring break in Cabo.
What we presented to the Curator Team was this idea that the city and the logo shouldn’t have a permanent tagline–our city is much too diverse for that. “Live it up” should be a temporary slogan in an ad campaign that rolls out the new logo, the new brand, the new identity to be adopted. If the slogan catches on, it’s a de facto tagline (think “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.) If the city doesn’t adopt it, the logo lives on and a new slogan and marketing campaign can be launched in the future.
Chief Innovation Officer, Visit Colorado Springs
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