Colorful Debate Over Colorado’s New Brand

Written by Kimberly MacArthur Graham on October 14, 2013

Right now, all across Colorado, marketing experts (and those who wish to be) are taking a cue from D.C. They are unflinchingly partisan, staunchly defending or unabashedly decrying . . .  a petite green triangle? Yes, a green triangle with a snowy white peak and containing two white letters that spell “CO”, with “COLORADO” spelled out below.

Colorado Logo

Though it pays homage to our beloved green-and-white license plates, most people seem to hate it – or at least, the people talking about it seem to the ones who hate it the most. It has been compared to awful things from a hazardous waste symbol to the work of an untrained grade-schooler.

I wholeheartedly disagree. I find Colorado’s new brand graphically appealing and totally appropriate: bold, recognizable, relevant, and imbued with character. Do I think it should replace the wonderful old slogan of “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” that has long graced our state’s border signs? No. Do I think it should put an abrupt end to the highly successful “Come to Life” tourism campaign? No again. But neither of those were the goal of creator Aaron Kennedy, the State’s marketing chief (and smart guy behind Noodles & Company). He has been very clear that the Little Green Triangle’s role is specifically as “a state watermark or small signature” to be applied to materials produced by Colorado’s 22 diverse agencies.

Which role I think it will play brilliantly. Simple enough to work in multiple applications and on variously designed campaigns and collateral; strong enough to be memorable. All the Green Triangle needs now is a catchy name, maybe something that hints at our fondness for high peaks, or our fixation on all things “Mile High” now that pot is legal – though the Denver reference might rile the secessionists.

Wow. Don’t we Coloradans have bigger things to debate than a Little Green Triangle? Sure – but honestly, this is a lot more fun. Which maybe was exactly what Kennedy & Co. intended all along.


Layer Cake Creative is a strategic marketing agency specializing in communications, design, and strategic marketing that enrich your brand and support your strategic and sales goals.  This Denver marketing firm specializes in promoting professional services such as architecture, construction, engineering, law, finance, and real estate.

Kimberly MacArthur Graham, founder of Layer Cake Creative, is an expert in professional services marketing with 20+ years in the design and building industry.  She’s especially proficient in marketing communications including technical or creative writing and editing, articles submitted for publication, and brand messaging.

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