The Fort Collins Logo Saga Part 3

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Some questions lead to answers. Some lead to more questions. When it comes to Fort Collins and their logo, it’s a clear case of the answer begging more questions.

First, we want to thank them for continuing to keep the process interesting, if nothing else. With that out of the way, here’s the logo which was revealed on Tuesday:

As we looked into what was behind the choice, this is what the City of Fort Collins site had to offer:
City Manager Darin Atteberry presented the City’s new logo at the July 1 Council Meeting. In June, nearly 5,000 people weighed in with their reactions to three different logo options. 1/3 of people supported each of the three options; despite the mixed messages, the feedback was clear in some respects.
• Horsetooth Rock is an important part of the community and should be reflected in the new logo.
•2/3 of people are ready for a new logo.

An article on the Fort Collins Now website gave us some further insight:

“We learned a lot during this process,” City Manager Darin Atteberry said in a press release the day after he told City Council which design he’d chosen. “It’s been wonderful to see that Fort Collins residents are passionate about their community, and they care enough to get involved. We took the feedback to heart, and the final logo reflects those characteristics the community said are most important.”

The decision to choose a new logo began as part of a community branding campaign. The old logo, featuring geese and Horsetooth Rock, was deemed hard to read and outdated. A new selection, designed by a Tennessee company that had earlier designed a new look for Greeley’s logo, was met with alarm and outrage; many in the community thought it a weak substitute for the existing logo.

The part about the “Tennessee company that had earlier designed a new look for Greeley’s logo” aroused our curiosity. What we found was more disappointing than surprising. See for yourself:

We didn’t feel simply asking “What were they thinking?” was enough to shed the proper light on this travesty. Instead, we offer the few specific questions we would love to have the Fort Collins City Council answer:

1) By your own statistics, 2/3 of the community preferred a logo other than the one you chose, beyond fulfilling the criteria that it is not the old logo, how does this selection warrant being an acceptable new logo for Fort Collins?

2) Why would you choose a logo so similar to the one which caused the initial uproar in the first place?

3) How does a logo with such similarities in color palate and design feel to that of a city 30 miles away serve to differentiate Fort Collins?

4) Since Linden opted to donate their efforts to create the third logo option, what was the fate of the $2,500 originally set aside for a local design firm to create an alternative to North Star’s first offering?

5) If you had the entire city branding process to do over again, what would you do differently?

Enough from us, let’s hear what the rest of you think.

(Thanks to Andy for the heads up on this.)


can anyone explain why horsetooth is so important to the community that it demands a representation in the logo?

Its a local hangout for taking bong rips and tripping shrooms of course!

Horsetooth rock is a landmark. That’s the only reason. The same as the Flatirons are to Boulder, Red Rocks is to Morrison, and uh…DIA is to Denver.

lol @ Media Rocks

I still just can’t understand what Atteberry is thinking. “I think it’s great that Fort Collins residents care so much, but fuck ‘em, I think this swirly line and boring text is fantastic.” Spoken by a true business moron that unfortunately we designers have to deal with on a daily basis.

What’s worse is the huge waste of time on Linden’s part. So much for them trying to do our community’s creative spirit some justice.

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