What makes Colorado Colorado? That's the question that Making Colorado, the state's branding initiative, set out to answer this spring, when Aaron Kennedy, the state's chief marketing officer (and the founder of Noodles & Company), recruited a twelve-person creative crew that's been talking to branding and image experts across the country. And last week, they revealed what all that input had inspired in the way of output, releasing three potential icons and two possible slogans.
What makes Colorado Colorado? Right now, it's a lot of shapes, including a simple rectangle — the shape of Colorado — with another rectangle inside. "At first glance, Colorado is just a rectangle," explains designer Justin Fuller on the website. "But the actual proportions are almost identical to the 'Golden Ratio,' a geometric relationship incredibly pleasing and balanced to the human eye. It's also the shape of 5X7 photographs, which our beautiful state is so often the subject of. The rectangular shape is placed to the right and slightly upward in relation to the word, a nod to the exponential progress Colorado has experienced."
That's a lot to read into a rectangle. And as long as we're making leaps, the placement of the rectangle is also another slap to rural Coloradans, since it's roughly where metro Denver is located if you're looking at a map of the state.
Todd Berger suggested a simple "CO" under a bar. "CO is the postal abbreviation for Colorado, so it's already shorthand for the state. But as a prefix, 'CO' has a broader cultural meaning. It's about cooperation, collaboration, and community, things that have turned the state into an entrepreneurial powerhouse. The addition of a horizontal bar adds a sense of vertical dimension, and might also be interpreted as a literal raising of the bar."
Or a flatline.
Evan Hecox offered a triangle-like mountain, with the word "Colorado" underneath: "The triangle form, representative of the peaks which are such an iconic part of the state, also acts as an upward facing arrow, referencing Colorado's continued ascension in any number of national categories, from business, to innovation, to health and happiness. The shape can be combined or stacked in infinite ways, and departments, towns or special projects can each have their own triangle, making it a particularly flexible approach."
If you're racking up pool balls.
As for the slogans touted on the site, the first is "Rise," which "not only refers to Colorado's physical altitude, but also positions Colorado as the place where you can raise your personal game — where you'll have an opportunity to become the best version of you."
The second is "Ever Upward": "The frontier is no longer North, South, East or West. It's up here in Colorado, perpetual birthplace of the next big idea. A place that is upward geographically (mountains), intellectually (innovation), and emotionally (passion)..."
Love any? Loathe them all? Speak up now: The website is looking for feedback on "the creation of the new look for Colorado...the icon and slogan that will be used for generations." And there's not a moment to lose: A countdown clock on Makingcolorado.gov notes that the next phase of the project begins in a week, with the unveiling of the final slogan/icon set for the Innovation Network Summit on August 29.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Colorful Colorado is suddenly looking a lot more bland.
Seen and herd: The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has received plenty of good feedback since it opened in Littleton in March. But the theater should have given a little more thought to the props for a recent offering, the R. Kelly hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet. Especially since this showing took place on July 20, the one-year anniversary of the Aurora theater shooting.
Trapped in the Closet is an interactive sing-along that takes viewers through Kelly's songs and videos, and the Alamo handed out props to the crowd: condoms, spatulas and tiny confetti poppers, each signifying a scene from one of the music videos. "The host also warned us that he had a confetti cannon that he was going to shoot at some point during the movie," says one movie-goer. "Still, I'd forgotten about the confetti cannon until it actually went off. When it did, I practically jumped out of my seat. I left the theater thinking, 'It's not okay to shoot cannons in movie theaters.'"