UPDATE: Brand Colorado clarifies conflicting reports about the source of funds to develop the new brand:
Just to clarify on the cost…[t]he Statewide Internet Portal Authority and the Colorado Tourism Office contributed a combined $800,000 to the project. But, corporate sponsors including Crocs, Boulder Brands and Crestone Capital and others also contributed funds to Making Colorado. Additionally, companies including Atomic 20, Linhart Public Relations, Made Movement, Karsh Hagan, Sterling Rice Group and Egg Strategy, as well as numerous individuals and freelancers, contributed thousands of hours of pro bono services, totaling more than $1.5 million.
It is estimated that the new state brand could save some state agencies, like CDOT, as much as $300,000 per year in marketing expenses. Multiply even a fraction of that number by 22 state agencies, and you can see how the new brand will actually save the state money.
As the Denver Business Journal's Ed Sealover reports:
After a year-long search that cost state officials some $1.1 million, Aaron Kennedy, Colorado's chief marketing officer, officially will announce at the Colorado Innovation Summit Thursday that they have settled on a triangle-shaped mountain reminiscent of the state's license plate to be the official state brand.
The brand will be used on all state vehicles and agencies, and also can be attached to the products of companies that design, manufacture or grow things in the state, in order to make people outside Colorado think positively about the culture here…
Though as the Denver Post's Steve Raabe reports, not all items "manufactured or grown" within the state of Colorado need apply:
"Everybody says just use the C," Hickenlooper said referring to the red "C" filled with a golden circle on the state flag. "The problem is we don't control it, and it's on a lot of things, escort services and marijuana shops, that the state doesn't want to be identified with." [Pols emphasis]
Setting aside the dissing of Colorado's flag, which we happen to like, we're not really sure about Gov. John Hickenlooper's rationale here. For one thing, the state's new logo has been likened to a hazard warning sign, which is an extremely popular basis for all kinds of stoner art. That means this new logo is more or less certain to be incorporated in some form into a "marijuana shop" design.
As for conveying a "unique brand," Twitter user Janus303 addresses the topic of uniqueness pretty well:
And our personal favorite (cue conspiracy theorists):
Bottom line: there's nothing about this logo to get overly upset about, given that, well, everyone's a critic,
and reportedly no taxpayer dollars were expended on its design (see clarification above). We don't get all wrapped up in consultant gobbledegook about the esoterics of branding, in fact we find that stuff cheesy–but it's fine for the state to have one. To the extent that the logo looks vaguely like the classic Colorado license plate, we're okay with that. It's not really overwhelmingly awesome or anything, but we don't think it should be. Simple and unpretentious is fine with us.
But like we said, everyone's a critic, so your mileage is free to vary. If you have a better suggested logo, we'd love to see it, even though the search is over.