City of Aspen spends $51K on new brand, logo

Staff report

After a two-year effort to rebrand itself, the city of Aspen on Friday unveiled a new logo that’s designed to “communicate a cohesive government” and a “united visual message to the public,” according to a statement.

The city hired two firms to handle the work; the cost was $51,000. The municipal government allocated a total of $59,000.

The money has gone to the national branding firm, Barnhart Communications and Aspen-based KissaneViola.

“It’s important that both our residents and visitors know that those are government services that their tax dollars are supporting,” said assistant city manager Sara Ott in a statement. “Having a consistent identity through our logo and branding helps people recognize the value they’re receiving for their tax dollars here in our community.”

The roots of the project began in 2013 after Steve Skadron, who has a professional marketing background, was elected mayor. He noticed the city did not have a unified graphic look and no written guidelines for use of its visual materials.

“We need to communicate to the community all that we do and make it clear what the city is offering and how much value we provide to residents and guests,” he said. “An identifiable symbol expresses our values and is a more professional approach.”

The logo is an Aspen leaf with lines that depict a forest. The statement explained that as an aspen grove represents community, the roots are one system but each individual tree represents its own unique strength and personality.

“We wanted to incorporate a grove in the graphic to represent the interconnected community that Aspen is,” said Katie Viola, designer and partner of Kissane Viola, in a statement. “One department in the city can’t work without another; it’s the same as a community.

“So, we have the past represented in the leaf but there is also a modernism to the look for our vision of the future and a nod to the Bauhaus tradition. It also speaks to Aspen as being an artistic and creative place.”


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