City of Aspen to launch branding efforts
The Aspen government might not be getting a new City Hall, but it’s getting a new logo.
Community Relations Director Mitzi Rapkin received City Council’s blessing Tuesday to hire a graphic-design and branding consultant to create a new logo for the city, which currently has more than a dozen logos — many of them for various departments and services — that purportedly confuse its brand.
There also are at least three logos for the city of Aspen, and Rapkin said no one in the city, which doesn’t have a graphic designer, knows who created the logo it uses the most often — the one with a black Aspen leaf and a white and turquoise background.
The consultant also will be charged with helping create a style guide for the city’s branding and graphic elements, which are used on letterheads, envelopes, business cards, advertisements and other means.
“I think people should know who the organization is that’s buying your park land, who’s taking care of your sidewalk,” Rapkin said Wednesday.
She noted at Tuesday’s City Council work session that branding, while not sexy, is critical to the civic government’s outreach, advertising, marketing and communications.
“I know for many people, branding does not set your soul on fire, but it is something important to an organization to have some unity,” she said.
The city has multiple logos for its services — that includes ones for the child care program Kids First, the Canary Initiative, Car to Go and other programs.
“The building of collateral, such as logos and other branded items, have happened piecemeal in the city,” Rapkin wrote in a memo to City Council. “Other items such as a style guide and ad templates have never been created. This has created a stratified look to our organization and a perception of a lack of unity.”
Rapkin met with nine city departments about their logos. Some departments — such as the Aspen Recreation Center, Kids First and the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority — wanted to keep their logos. Such offices as the Police Department, Housing Office and Wheeler Opera House will retain their logos, Rapkin said.
The timing also is good because the city is working on a new website. A request for proposals will go out soon. The cost for a consultant could range from $10,000 to $40,000, Rapkin said.
Members of City Council agreed that branding efforts need to be streamlined.
“Frankly, I do support the idea of bringing in a branding or graphic-design individual,” Councilman Art Daily said. “Look, we’ve got 12 different departments with different perspectives and different desires on their part. … We need to have someone help us integrate this and perhaps provide some framework for individualism” for some of the departments.
It was actually The Viking (my Yankee-in-Europe), not I, who had been invited to visit an historic whisky making business in the Scottish Highlands, namely the Glenfiddich Distillery located in Dufftown in Speyside.
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