State of Branding: Colorado (From Colorado Flags to Colorado Brands)

Branding

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30 min read

From Colorado flags, to Colorado universities, welcome to your complete rundown of the state of branding in this mountainous region.

Colorado, also known as “the Centennial State,” encompasses 104,094 square miles of the American West and includes parts of the Great Plains, Southern Rocky Mountains, and the Colorado Plateau.

It is also home to nearly 90 universities and colleges, each with their own branding and unique identity.

In terms of tourist attractions, there’s lots to see and do in Colorado, from art museums to a vibrant restaurant scene which means there’s a whole lot of branding for us to sink our teeth into.

If you didn’t already know, Canny is a creative branding agency, and we love anything and everything to do with design.

From looking at color palettes, to typography, to what a brand visually represents, we love weighing up different design choices and identifying why they have been used.

It’s important to remember that when we’re going through this blog post, a brand is much more than just a logo. Whilst this is the first thing people see and is usually what attracts people to a business in the first place, it’s not the be all and end all.

Essentially, branding is all-encompassing and it’s what makes your business unique. From printed assets such as brochures and flyers, to messaging on your website, it covers every single part of your business.

In this post we’re going to provide you with a complete overview of branding in Colorado, and we’ll drill into 3 of the biggest cities in this state – Denver, Boulder, and Aspen.

In each of these cities, we’ll be looking at their flag and seal, as well as exploring local sports teams and universities.

This gives us the chance to look at the state of branding across a whole variety of areas to see how they shape their own identity.

Colorado Branding

Population: 5.7 Million
Capital City: Denver
TimeZone: Mountain Daylight Time (MT)
Abbreviation: CO

To keep things consistent throughout the blog, we’ll be looking at the flag and seal for the state of Colorado, as well as the 3 key cities.

However, for the state of Colorado, we thought we’d also provide some useful information and top facts in case you’re curious to know more about this scenic location.

Maybe you’ve never been to this state before and are curious to know more about it?

Well, stick with us, this section is for you.

A flag of Colorado blowing in the wind

Colorado Flag

In case you’re not familiar with the flag of Colorado, it’s made up of three horizontal stripes of equal width, with the top and bottom stripes being blue and the middle stripe white.

On top of the middle strip sits a circular red “C”, which is filled with a golden disk.

In terms of why these colors have been used, the blue is designed to represent the skies, the gold represents the sunshine the state often enjoys, the white represents the snowy mountain landscape, and the red represents the earth.

All-in-all, it’s an effective emblem and I like the thought that has gone into each color choice. The flag has taken each part of what makes Colorado a unique place to live, and encapsulated this into a visual image.

In terms of history, the flag dates back to 1911 when it was designed by Andrew Carlisle Carson. It was then adopted by the Colorado General Assembly on June 5 of the same year, however, the legislature did not specify the size of the “C” or the exact shade of blue or red.

As such, some flags were produced in different colors which caused a great deal of inconsistencies. On February 28, 1929, the General Assembly added to the description of the flag so that the blue and red had to be the same as the flag of the United States. In 1964, the legislature was expanded to specify the diameter of the gold disc, making it equal to the width of the center stripe.

Colorado Seal

The first General Assembly of the State of Colorado approved the state seal in 1877 and only the Colorado Secretary of State is authorized to attach this to any document.

When it comes to the design, the majority of credit can be given to Lewis Ledyard Weld, the Territorial Secretary appointed by President Lincoln in 1861.

With that said, let’s take a look at the design of this seal in further detail.

At the top of the emblem is “the eye of God” in a triangle with golden rays beaming from the sides. This symbol, of Masonic origin, can also be found on the Great Seal of the United States (reverse), as well as on the back of a one-dollar bill.

Below the eye of God, is a Roman fasces which visually represents a republican form of government. The fasces is a set of rods bound in a bundle which contains an axe (in ancient Roman times, the bodyguards of a magistrate carried fasces as symbols of the magistrate’s kingly power).

So what are the rods supposed to symbolize?

According to the statute, the rods bound together represent strength lacking in a single rod, and the axe represents power and leadership. This is a powerful message and is cleverly communicated through the visual elements.

If we look at the shield, the top half shows three snow-capped mountains with clouds above which is representative of Colorado’s wintery landscape. In contrast, the lower half of the shield contains a pick and sledge hammer crossed on a golden background which represents the mining sector of this state.

Below the shield is a banner with the Latin motto, “Nil Sine Numine” (Nothing without the Deity; Colorado’s official motto), and finally at the bottom “1876” which is the year Colorado came into statehood.

Due to the mix of colors and visual assets, I think this is a bold seal which communicates strength and authority – both of which are very fitting, considering this is used on important documentation.

Key Cities in Colorado

Colorado has 73 cities in total within the state, and two consolidated city and county governments. Some cities are larger than others, and the ones we have chosen to explore in this blog post are what we would define as the ‘main cities’.

By this we mean the cities that tourists to the area would most likely know.

You’ll probably have an idea as to what cities we’re referring to after seeing the title of this blog post, but here’s a quick rundown:

  • Denver
  • Boulder
  • Aspen

Later in the post, we will look at branding related to each of these cities — like we have in the previous State of Branding post on Florida — so stay with us!

Outside of having large populations, all of these cities are known for a myriad of different things, be it art, culture, business, or a mix of all three.

To help break up our state of branding run through, we’re going to look at various branding examples from a range of sectors to give you a better flavor of what Colorado has to offer.

After all, this state is so vast!

But first things first.

Let’s take a look at some key facts about Colorado.

Maybe you already know some of these, whilst others might surprise you!

Views from the top of a hill in Colorado

Key Facts about Colorado

Some of the facts you’re about to see aren’t business-related, but that doesn’t stop them from being really interesting!

Here are some key facts about Colorado:

  1. The name Colorado means “colored red.”
  2. Colorado is nicknamed the Centennial State.
  3. The mountainous area of Colorado is six times the size of Switzerland and contains 9,600 miles of fishing streams, 2,850 lakes, and over 1,000 peaks that are at least two miles high.
  4. Colorado contains 75% of the land area of the United States with an altitude over 10,000 feet.
  5. The United States has a total of 91 “fourteeners” (mountain peaks over 14,000 feet). Fifty-six of them are in Colorado.
  6. Colorado’s southwest corner borders Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah – it’s the only place in America where the corners of four states meet.
  7. Colorado is home to the world’s largest natural hot springs swimming pool.
  8. The much-loved tire clamp was created in Colorado.
  9. Colorado is the only state in history to turn down the Olympics.
  10. The longest continuous commercial street in America is Colfax Avenue.
  11. 1/3 of the land in Colorado is owned by the United States Federal Government.
  12. The Spanish were the first European visitors who arrived in Colorado in the 1500s.
  13. Women in Colorado were granted the right to vote in 1893.
  14. Colorado is also home to the United States Air Force Academy.
  15. Colorado has stricter vehicle emission regulations than many other states in the U.S
  16. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado is the highest vehicular tunnel in the world.
  17. The world’s first rodeo was held on July 4th, 1869 in Deer Trail.
  18. Pikes Peak Cog Railway is the highest railway train in the world.
  19. Colorado once had 3 Governors in a single day.
  20. The Park Theater in Estes Park was the state’s first place to catch a movie.
  21. The cheeseburger was trademarked in Denver.
  22. Colorado has the world’s largest flat-top mountain.
  23. Leadville sits at 10,152 feet, making it the highest city in the U.S.
  24. The highest paved road in North America is the Mount Evans Scenic Byway.
  25. Rocky Ford in Colorado is the “melon capital of the world.”
  26. The Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest dune in North America.
  27. The first US explorer to travel through Colorado got “lost” and was arrested by the Spanish.
  28. Colorado is known for its extreme weather.
  29. Life in the mines of early Colorado was brutal.
  30. Colorado has almost as many ghost towns as it does active ones.

  31. Colorado has 222 state wildlife areas.

An image of the city skyline in Denver, Colorado

Denver Branding

Population: 715, 878
TimeZone: Mountain Daylight Time (MT)
Abbreviation: Den

Denver is the capital, and most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado.

It has a growing population and is now at over 715,000 which is a 19.22% increase since the 2010 United States census.

On top of this, it is the 19th-most populous city in the United States and the fifth most populous state capital.

So, why do so many people want to live here? And why is the population continuing to grow?

There are lots of interesting things about Denver, some of which we have covered above. For starters, it stands at 5,280 feet [1,609 meters] above sea level at the State Capitol, which gives it the nickname “Mile High City.”

Denver fact: In 2012, Colorado legalized the use of recreational marijuana, making them one of the first to pass this bill. Denver has an amazing array of recreational shops, and even if you’re not a fan of this activity, you can still enjoy the economic growth these shops supply.

Furthermore, it has a mild and sunny climate, as well as a beautiful landscape made up of rocky mountains, desert areas, and plains. There is also so much to see and do, as you can be skiing in the mountainous regions one day, then dining in one of the many bars and restaurants in Downtown Denver the next.

If you want to be a little more cultured, then why not check out Denver Art Museum?

Or if you have young children, there’s also the Denver Nature and Science Museum which makes a great family day out.

Like we said, there’s lots to choose from! We’ll also be drilling into the branding of these places later in the post, so keep your eyes peeled.

The city flag of Denver, Colorado

Denver Flag

Now when it comes to the design of the Denver flag, here’s something that might surprise you…

It was designed by a North High School student, Margaret Overbeck, and adopted in 1926.

Yes, that’s right, designed by a student, which is pretty impressive when we look at its design!

Whilst simplistic in nature, it incorporates all of the key elements that make Denver a great place to live.

Let’s break this down into more detail.

The emblem comprises a white zigzag stripe which extends horizontally along the width of the design to separate a red and blue field. The zigzag is a clever design element as it symbolizes Colorado’s Native American heritage.

In the center is a yellow circle which is cleverly placed to represent the Sun – an indication of the warm weather in this mountainous region.

Surrounding this is a deep blue sky above snow-capped mountains, which is again, a visual nod to the hilly landscape of Denver.

The color yellow symbolizes gold in the state’s hills, and red represents earth to which the word colorado refers. Whilst all of the colors used as simplistic, they each grab your eye and contrast well against one another.

The circle has also been strategically centered in the middle to symbolize Denver’s central location within the state.

Denver Seal

The seal of the City and County of Denver was designed by Denver artist Henry Read in 1901.

The circular design features an American eagle, which is a gentle reminder that Denver is a free, American city.

The key, which is encapsulated in the red and gold shield, symbolizes Denver as the key to the Rocky Mountains, and represents the warmth and hospitality extended by Denver to visitors.

I really like this message and think it’s very welcoming and well thought out. The red of the shield also works well with the red outline of the seal, to create a bold and eye-catching emblem.

The capitol dome is also included in the design as Denver is the capital of the state of Colorado. The eagle wings which are spread across the width of the design add a real stamp of authority and represent strength.

Denver Branding: Denver Nuggets, Root Down, and Denver Art Museum

From one end of the branding scale to the other; let’s shift our attention to some mainstay Denver brands that help shape the state of branding in the city.

We’ll kick things off with the Denver Nuggets, a professional basketball team based in the city…

An image taken from a Denver Nuggets game
Credit to ESPN

Denver Nuggets

As mentioned above, the Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver that plays in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

However, they weren’t always known by this name as they underwent a rebrand in 1970’s.

Originally called the Denver Rockets, the team was one of the founding franchises of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967.

They were led by local favorite Byron Beck who studied at the University of Denver, and they enjoyed winning records in each of their first three seasons.

Anticipating a move to the NBA where the Houston Rockets were already established, the team changed its name to the Denver Nuggets in 1974. This is an interesting move, as it allowed the team to pay homage to their origins.

The term ‘Nuggets’ refers to the 19th century mining boom in the state of Colorado, when people rushed to the area, hoping to make their fortunes by panning for gold and silver nuggets. I think this reflects the importance of a solid brand name, as so often brands get caught up in the visual aspect of their identity that they forget about their name.

By rebranding to Denver Nuggets, it creates a sense of personalisation and roots the basketball team in their history.

And it seems the name change was coincidentally the beginning of a winning streak.

The newly christened Denver Nuggets posted the best record in the ABA in 1974 to 1975 behind the standout play of guard-forward Ralph Simpson.

Since starting out, the team have been through a whopping 8 logos, with their latest emblem being in place since 2018. However throughout all of these adaptations, the visual identity history of the club has always been built around two main themes — Maxie the Miner, the club’s mascot, and the mountain peaks.

A screenshot of the Root Down website
Credit to Root Down

Root Down

Root Down is a cool and quirky restaurant based in Denver.

They’re passionate about providing a fresh-from-the-earth menu and funky, mid-century details.

They go beyond just being a standard restaurant, and aim to be “a neighborhood nexus and sensory rabble-rouser … served with a spoonful of nostalgia.”

With bright, tasty cocktails, gas station architecture, and offbeat eBay finds, this creates a very vibrant and exciting atmosphere for any customer. Essentially, they want to create an electric experience which can be seen from the moment you walk through the front door.

With mismatched letters in rainbow shapes and various sizes, their restaurant signage is very eye-catching. It definitely doesn’t scream fancy or upmarket, but this isn’t the vibe that Root Down is going for.

The inside mimics the outside with comfy seating, low lighting, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.

I know if I was visiting Denver, I’d certainly pop in here for a cocktail or two!

A screenshot of the Denver Art Museum website
Credit to Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum

Now this is one for you all culture vultures!

Founded in 1993 as the Denver Artists’ Club, the Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast.

The museum’s global art collections boast cultures around the world, with more than 70,000 works of art in 12 collections.

This includes:

  • African art
  • Architecture and design
  • Art of the ancient Americas
  • Asian art
  • European and American art before 1900
  • Latin American art
  • Oceanic art
  • Modern and contemporary art
  • Photography
  • Textile art and fashion
  • Indigenous arts of North American
  • Western American art

The museum’s global collections also reflect work by artists from Denver and the Rocky Mountain region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about the world.

From the moment you arrive at the Denver Art Museum, they have created such a fantastic visitor experience. With the buildings jagged edges, and clunky shapes it conjures interest before you have even stepped through the front door.

Inside, the creativity continues.

The walls are littered with light and color, and around each corner lies a new adventure. It’s safe to say you couldn’t get around this museum in a few hours, as there’s so much to cast your eyes on.

When scrolling through the website, this sense of adventure and interest has been applied to their online presence too as the homepage plays a tour video on loop. This gives users who are tempted to visit the museum, an insight into what they can expect!

As we said earlier, branding is much more than a logo – it’s an experience. This can be seen perfectly through The Denver Art Museum, as it’s all about enticing viewers in so that they want to explore.

An image taken outside in Boulder, Colorado

Boulder Branding

Population: 109, 777
TimeZone: Mountain Daylight Time (MT)
Abbreviation: BCO

Now onto our next city in Colorado, Boulder.

With a city population of over 108,000, Boulder is the 12th most populous city in Colorado.

It is also the principal city of the Boulder, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and an important part of the Front Range Urban Corridor.

Like Denver, Boulder stands high above sea level at an elevation of 5,430 feet (1,655 m).

In terms of what this city has to offer, it is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado, the state’s largest university. Keep your eyes peeled as we’ll be diving into the branding for this well-known university further in the post.

In terms of what there is to see and do in Boulder, you’re spoilt for choice!

From world-class restaurants, to dining joints, it is the perfect spot for trying out new food and experiences. If dining isn’t your thing, there’s also many natural scenes including mountains, rivers, and forests, which is ideal if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, snowboarder, or skier.

Boulder fact: Boulder was called the Happiest City in the U.S. by National Geographic.

With that said, let’s take a look at the Boulder flag and seal.

Boulder Flag

Well, it looks like we’ve drawn a blank with this one.

The city of Boulder in Colorado, does not actually have a flag, yet it has been a topic of debate for quite some time.

On November 18, 1987, the Daily Camera published an article about the anonymous winner of a flag contest held by Boulder.

“The artist is nameless but the legacy may wave forever,” is what the article begins with.

However, it wasn’t to be.

The City Council never adopted the flag as the city’s official symbol, and it’s not clear whether any council members ever gave it much consideration.

Then-Mayor Linda Jourgensen was quoted in the Camera as having doubts about a city flag saying, “I am in the dark on this. I don’t know who selected it. At this point, I feel neutral about it.”

She continued by saying, ““I don’t think Boulder needs a flag. Boulder stands on its own.”

So, rather than being able to look at the Boulder flag from a branding standpoint (since there has never been an official emblem), it might be better to look at this from an identity standpoint instead.

Is Boulder so proud and bold (pardon the pun) with their identity, that they don’t need a visual flag to represent this? Do flags only exist to add a stamp of authority to a city – something that the people of Boulder might already feel like they have?

Whatever the reason, it has led to many questions over the years, though no official emblem has been selected.

City of Boulder seal

Boulder Seal

Whilst Boulder might not have a flag, they do have a seal.

Hurray! Something we can cast our creative eyes on.

When looking at the seal of Boulder, it’s fair to say it’s simple but effective. Incorporating a minimalistic color palette, and a no-frills design approach, this emblem does exactly what it needs to do.

Essentially, this is going to be stamped on official papers and documentation to add a stamp of authenticity. As such, the design is very fitting and leaves no room for ambiguity.

You can also see the rough mountainous landscape drawn onto the white background which reflects the characteristics of the city.

The typeface is also capitalized for each of the letters, which adds to the sense of authentication even more. It’s a strong, bold visual emblem which fulfil
ls its purpose.

Boulder Branding: Colorado Buffaloes, University of Colorado Boulder, and Celestial Seasoning Tea Factory

Now that we’ve covered the history of the yet-to-be Boulder flag, and looked at the Boulder seal, let’s look at some other branding examples in this city.

From a University football team to a tea factory, we’re mixing it up on the Canny blog!

Colorado Buffaloes logo
Credit to Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado Buffaloes

The Colorado Buffaloes football program represents the University of Colorado Boulder in college football at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, having previously been a charter member of the Big 12 Conference.

Beginning in 1890, Colorado football has enjoyed much success throughout its more than 135 years of competitive play.

The Buffaloes have appeared in numerous bowl games (28 appearances in bowl games (12–16), 36th all-time), and won 27 conference championships, 5 division championships and a national championship.

Impressive!

Colorado’s in-state rival is the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference, located north of Boulder in Fort Collins.

The two schools are separated by 45 miles and both consider it important to beat the other for bragging rights for the next year. The football teams go head-to-head on an annual basis in the Rocky Mountain Showdown for the Centennial Cup, which is held in Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder.

The trophy takes its name from the state of Colorado’s nickname of “The Centennial State”.

When I first looked at the logo for the Colorado Buffaloes, I was confused. The two letters that immediately jump out at you are ‘C’ and ‘U’,and of course, I was looking for ‘C’ and ‘B’ to represent ‘Colorado Buffaloes.’

However, as this is the football team for the Colorado University, it makes perfect sense. I also love the regal choice of gold as the main color as this really pops against the black background. Encasing the letters is the outline of a buffalo, which is very clever given the name of the football team.

All-in-all, it’s a simple yet effective logo which works well across various applications and merchandise, such as the players’ shirts.

A tagline from the University of Boulder
Credit to University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder is quite prestigious as it is one of 35 U.S. public research institutions in the Association of American Universities (AAU) – a group of institutions recognized as America’s leading research universities.

When it comes to their website, their ethos is very clear. From eye-catching images of happy students, to bold statistics about the number of graduates they have helped into employment, this looks and feels like a uni you’d really want to attend.

Their website is littered with facts and figures which immediately tell the visitor what the university is all about, and most importantly, its track record in helping other students.

Instead of overwhelming the reader with chunks of information (or worse, boring them), there is a great balance of text and imagery which creates a more enjoyable aesthetic. The information is all clearly displayed, and it makes for a much better online experience.

We’ve touched on the black and gold logo above, as this is also used for the Colorado Buffaloes football team. So, we’ll not cover old ground and will instead look at the tagline used on the university website:

Be Boulder.

I think that’s highly effective, and plays on the location of the institution whilst empowering students to be their best.

Job well done!

A screenshot of the Celestial Seasoning website
Credit to Celestial Seasoning

Celestial Seasoning Tea Factory

From a prestigious research university, to a tea factory!

Well, we did say we were going to look at branding from a whole host of different areas, and you couldn’t get more different than this.

When sightseeing in Boulder, you just have to stop at Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory. Attracting over 2 million visitors each year, it has to be on your to-do list, and even better, it’s totally free!

So, you can browse their 105 varieties of tea without spending a penny.

What’s not to like?!

If you’ve never heard of the Celestial Seasoning Tea Factory, then let’s go back a few steps. The company is the largest herbal tea producer in North America and serves up more than 1.6 billion cups of tea annually.

That’s a whole lot of tea, even for a tea-lover like myself.

It’s fair to say the workers at The Boulder tea factory are kept very busy as they package more than eight million tea bags a day. In total, the tour takes 45-minute to complete and all visitors get to see a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the tea is made.

You’ll also get to check out the company’s herb garden, as well as pay a visit to its Mint Room, where huge bags of peppermint and spearmint tea are stored before shipping. And to make the experience even more inviting, there are also free tea tastings.

Personally, there’s something about tea which is very traditional and old-school, and this is communicated through the factory’s branding. Even if I didn’t know it was a tea factory, I would know it stood for something that was long-established.

The main reason for this is the typography and color palette of the logo. To start with, the typography looks quite old fashioned, and almost regal with the swirly letters and fluid shapes. The main color for the emblem is brown, which again, is symbolic of a brand which has longevity and a strong standing in the market.

An image of Aspen, Colorado's mountains

Aspen Branding

Population: 7, 721
TimeZone: Mountain Daylight Time (MT)
Abbreviation: N/A

With a population of just under 8,000, Aspen is still a growing city.

Located in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains, along the Roaring Fork River, it sits just below 8,000 feet above sea level on the Western Slope.

In terms of its history, Aspen was founded as a mining camp during the Colorado Silver Boom and was later named Aspen for the abundance of aspen trees in the area.

Aspen fact: In 1887, Aspen became the first Colorado town to provide electricity to the whole of its population, totaling 8,000 at the time.

Whilst the city boomed during the 1880s, this ended in 1893 due to the collapse of the silver market. The next half-century was known as “the quiet years” as the population steadily declined.

However, Aspen’s fortunes recovered in the mid-20th century when neighboring Aspen Mountain was developed into a ski resort, and industrialist Walter Paepcke bought various properties in the city in the 1950s and redeveloped them.

Today, Aspen is home to three institutions that hold international importance: the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Aspen Institute, and the Aspen Center for Physics. We will be delving deeper into some of these institutions further in the blog post, so keep reading!

Aspen city flag

Aspen Flag

The flag of the city of Aspen, is white with a black aspen tree in the center.

The tree sits against a teal background which makes the shape stand out even more so that it really grabs your attention.

I like that this visual emblem has real meaning, as Aspen was given its name due to the sheer number of aspen trees in the area. As a result, I think it’s a great choice to include this on the city flag.

Instead of including any visual just because it looks ‘pretty’, I appreciate when a design has some sort of meaning or purpose to it.

This is clearly a symbolic representation of what the city is so well known for (aspen trees) and it works effectively across a range of assets.

Aspen Seal

Unfortunately it seems the city of Aspen doesn’t have a seal, so we’re unable to give our thoughts on this one!

However, we wanted to keep things consistent on the Canny blog, so didn’t want to miss the section out altogether.

Perhaps the city of Aspen will develop a seal soon, and we can revisit this section and give our creative feedback? Who knows, but keep checking the Canny blog for the latest branding updates!

Aspen Branding: Aspen Basketball Clubs, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Aspen Center for Physics

Now that we’ve explored the Aspen flag (and the yet-to-be Aspen seal), it’s time to mix it up with some other branding examples from the city.

For this section we’ll be looking at Aspen Basketball Club, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Aspen Center for Physics – 3 very distinct areas!

Let’s get things started with basketball…

Aspen Basketball Club logo
Credit to Aspen Basketball Club

Aspen Basketball Club

The Aspen Basketball Club creates developmental and experiential opportunities for basketball players across the Roaring Fork Valley, and provides professional training and coaching for girls and boys of all ages in the form of private training, development camps, and travel-select club teams.

They have a range of experienced coaches on hand who can offer high-level, specialized, and diversified basketball skill and IQ development with a comprehensive Body-Mind-and-Spirit philosophical approach.

When looking at the website, you get a very homely, friendly vibe that encourages you to sign up to their services.

I’m not even a basketball player, or know much about the sport, yet I felt inspired and motivated to get involved, which I think is a sign of powerful brand messaging.

Whilst simplistic in design, all of the key pieces of information are visible and there is a good balance of imagery throughout. I love the collage of imagery at the bottom of the homepage, as it comprises images of team players both on and off the court.

This represents the skills that can be gained from playing for this team, from both a personal and friendship level.

Keeping with the idea of minimalism, the logo uses a two tone color scheme and in places, looks hand drawn. Again, I think this is quite charming and represents a friendly and welcoming vibe.

In the bottom left hand corner of the logo, is a sketch of the well-known Colorado mountains. This roots the basketball team in its location, and is immediately recognisable.

A screenshot of the Aspen Music Festival and School website
Credit to Aspen Music Festival and School

Aspen Music Festival and School

As mentioned in the intro, Aspen Music Festival and School holds international importance and is widely recognized around the world.

Founded in 1949, it is regarded as one of the top classical music festivals in the United States, and is commended for both its concert programming and its musical training of young students.

The season usually lasts around 8 weeks and comprises more than 400 classical music events including concerts by five orchestras, solo, and chamber music performances, fully staged opera productions, master classes, lectures, and children’s programming.

Part of its mission is to respect and nurture the Aspen community, celebrating the union of mind, body, and spirit through the art of music. This can be seen through their logo, as if you look closely, you can see the letters ‘A’ and ‘M’ which symbolizes ‘Aspen Music’.

However, from a more abstract perspective, these letters can also represent musical notation which ties in with what this organization is all about. Therefore, there is perfect synergy between the visual identity of the brand and the services it offers.

If we look deeper into the color palette, the colors are inspired by the natural beauty and feeling of summer in Aspen, with tones of green and yellow shown throughout.

It’s a very vibrant, welcoming emblem which would encourage lots of students to sign up. The wordmark which sits alongside the logo ‘Aspen music festival and school’ lends more weight to the words ‘Aspen music’ as both of these are in bold.

This strengthens what the organization is all about, as these words are the first thing you’re drawn to when you come across the logo for the first time. It’s also well balanced, and runs left aligned down the side of the ‘M’.

Aspen Center for Physics logo
Credit to Aspen Center for Physics

Aspen Center for Physics

The Aspen Center for Physics is essentially what is said on the tin – a non-profit Center for research in Physics.

The Center organizes workshops and conferences to facilitate interactions among research physicists. However, aside from this, the center also welcomes non-scientists from the community to educate them about new updates in the industry.

It also provides young learners and students with the opportunity to meet and interact with professional physicians which can be very useful from a career perspective.

During the summer and winter, the center offers free public lectures, bringing cutting–edge research to those who have an interest in physics and want to learn more. There are also summer barbecues held for local and visiting youths who come with their families to picnic and hear informative physics talk.

The Physics Cafe also offers students and adults the chance to talk informally with physicists in a relaxed setting.

As you can see, there is a lot of emphasis placed on community, and the center is a fantastic resource for aspiring physicians. This feeling of community is encapsulated in the logo, as the shape in the center of the emblem could be interpreted as a love heart.

This shows that whilst this is a place for people to educate and better their career, it’s also somewhere that opens its arms up to the community and brings people together. From the brand messaging and identity, there is a real sense that the physicians truly love what they do, and want to encourage others to take the same career path.

Mirroring this ethos in the logo is very clever. And whilst the logo design is quite basic, it beautifully ties this message together.

State of Branding: Colorado (From Colorado Flags to Colorado Brands)

So, there you have it; your complete run down of branding in Colorado.

From looking at the Colorado flag, to exploring branding within some of its major cities, we’ve definitely had a good branding vacation!

Like I said in the intro, Canny is a creative agency and we love delving deep into what makes a brand so unique. Whether it’s the logo, color palette, or brand messaging, every design choice should serve a purpose.

Now it’s over to you.

Which of the branding examples did you enjoy the most? Perhaps the Colorado flag is coming up top trumps, or maybe you like the branding for the Aspen Music Festival and School?

Do share your thoughts via social media, and let us know which brands caught your eye.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour or branding across this scenic US state, and keep checking the Canny blog for more as we’ll be journeying to the Big Apple next!