Political football? GOP assails marketing logo

DENVER — If Colorado is to have a new logo to market itself nationwide and around the world, the people should decide what it looks like, Rep. Bob Rankin said Tuesday.

That, at least, is what the Glenwood Springs Republican told the House Business, Labor, Economic & Workforce Development Committee, which killed it on a party-line 6-5 vote, with Democrats saying it makes no sense sending such an issue to a vote of the people.

“It is, in fact, the carbon monoxide (warning) symbol, just a different color,” Rankin said.

“This is an executive function and a short-term marketing effort,” countered Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver. “Do we really need to take this to a vote of the people? If you were a business owner, would you want to have your logo approved by the voters of Colorado?”

Republicans have used the issue somewhat as a political football, saying Gov. John Hickenlooper, who’s up for re-election this year, goofed when his office spent about $800,000 coming up with it.

They and others have argued that the state already has an iconic logo, the one in the state’s flag that encompasses the sun inside the “C” in Colorado.

The governor’s Office of Economic Development & International Trade said that while that image is well known here, it isn’t nationwide.

The office said that 250 Colorado companies have already registered with the state’s byColorado program to use the logo, including Enstrom Candies in Grand Junction.

Democratic House leaders agreed that the logo probably isn’t something they would have come up with, but sided with the governor, saying he’s the chief executive of the state and it’s his decision.

“When I first saw the logo and the brand, I was like, ‘This is what we came up with?’” said House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver. “But after hearing from marketing experts and the governor’s office, I think there was a much better explanation of why, especially when you’re looking from outside the state. We all in the state love our state flag ... but one of the issues is the ‘C’ in our state flag ... people thought Chicago. We don’t need to market Chicago, we need to market Colorado.”

House Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst said the logo just isn’t memorable, but stopped short of saying it needed to be replaced.

“I’m sitting here trying to remember what the logo looks like,” she said. “I looked at it once, put it aside and I absolutely don’t remember, so I think that indicates how much it impressed me.”


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