More Fort Collins Logo Drama


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Puke. Hack. Gag. Burp. The latest in the Fort Collins logo tragedy may be the most depressing development thus far. On the remotely-visible bright side, the city has listened to residents’ explosive complaints about the previous monstrosity created by Tennessee consultancy, North Star, and reacted by sending out an RFP for firms to redesign it. Thirteen agencies responded with the winner being the shop that offered to do the work – wait for it – for free.

Not only has the city embarrassed itself by paying a Tennessee firm gobs of taxpayer cash ($76k) to mess up the initial branding, but now they’re smearing it in the face of every Fort Collins firm by telling them the value on any further work put into the mark is exactly zero. We need to have some larger balls in this industry when it comes to client-side lameness of this magnitude. Good luck to the winning firm, Linden Common Sense Marketing, in resolving this fiasco with grace.

Thanks to our friends at Shannon Marketing Communications up North for cluing is in on the story.

Read more here and here if you want.


  1. Randall Erkelens April 3, 2008

    If renewal is their way of

    If renewal is their way of life, wouldn’t they be best served with using their old logo?

    And looking at their mark. They have a stylized mountain blending into a expansive river? Did they confuse their city with some other city? I haven’t had the pleasure of rafting down that white water experience… ohh wait.. I remember, they have a history of floods due to poor planning.. that’s a mountain and wave of water that floods the city every few decades.

  2. Joe Mease April 3, 2008

    The whole thing is laughable,

    The whole thing is laughable, but I’m glad the powers that be finally recognized that North Star’s concept was junk.

    While I applaud Linden for stepping up the plate, and taking one for the hometown, I wouldn’t normally call doing a freebie a “win”, but I trust this is a charity project that will yield some good PR for them.

    In looking at Linden’s logo work, I am not expecting anything too great, but I’m certain anything will be better than that thing North star yacked up, and at least it will be home-grown.

    Are the folks at North star aware of what is happening, and how much we all think they suck? If not, I think they should get a memo of sorts.

  3. James Pelz, ADCD April 3, 2008

    While I embrace the idea of

    While I embrace the idea of “coming to the rescue” of a city in a very clear need, PR aside, there is no redeeming value to giving a freebie to a less than noble cause. It devalues what we as professionals are worth. It is a sad state of affairs when after making their first mistake, choosing the wrong company (even though there is a wealth of local shops that know you better), they follow up with an even bigger mistake, asking for charity, begging the local guys (whom they should have called first) to pull them out of the jam they put themselves in, without real compensation.

    Can we really blame Fort Collins though? After reading the reasons they want a new logo, something about it not reading in an electronic format(?), it is obvious they have no clue when it comes to branding or design. It is most likely a group of citizens with a pile of cash to spend (or at least, they did have one). We, the design professionals, need to reach out and help them make better choices. Work with them. That would be the win. And maybe that is the glimmer of hope. Hopefully, after working with a professional, they get it now. Hopefully, other groups around the city will see this and reach out before they spend poorly.

    Hopefully, the other groups around Colorado don’t look at this and say “ooh, we can get free logos now.” I just don’t give the local committees and city planners the benefit of the doubt. If anything, it just opens the door wider than before.

  4. hack boy April 3, 2008

    “before they spend poorly” a

    “before they spend poorly” a wonderful turn of phrase, James.

    This isn’t an issue exclusive to municipalities though. I have been on the back side of many a case where, only after making the bad choice to begin with, clients turned to us for help.

    Of course they involved the expected cry of “We don’t have any money because we wasted it all with these other guys.” But by sticking to our guns, explaining to the client the true value of our expertise and working with them we have almost always been able find a way to make sure they got what they needed and we got paid. Sometimes this meant scaling back the deliverables the first year, but in the end we created one less problem client.

  5. PalmerPolanski April 4, 2008

    I like it. What’s not to like

    I like it. What’s not to like ?

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