Check out the new Salida logo – by Brooke Gilmore

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At the Salida City Council meeting on October 5, the council voted to approve a new city logo. The goal of this project was to create a new logo that better represents the city’s government organization. This new circular logo incorporates the historic foundation of the city, and the heart in the center includes the mountains, the river and the city’s iconic “S” mountain at the center of it all.

“By attending the design committee meetings, I couldn’t add much because I felt like a kindergarten sitting there with a bunch of doctors. The thought, the comments and the input that people like Bill [Donovan] and a number of other true professional designers from our community were brought in to participate, it was impressive, ”said Mayor Wood.

As part of the initial discussions on the old town newspaper, it was recognized that the town of Salida is changing and the current logo no longer reflects the unique and vibrant culture or identity of the town. In March 2021, the City began an inclusive process of redesigning its current municipal logo, expressing the following reasons:

  • The current logo was created before 2008 and has become obsolete over time.
  • The current logo was designed without a consistent branding and brand guidelines were never incorporated, leading to inconsistent use of the logo.
  • Logo production on clothing, signs and other digital media does not reproduce well, often resulting in additional printing costs and other issues.
  • The current logo does not fully represent the city’s government organization, responsibilities or core values.

The logo design should be flexible and work in a variety of applications including buildings, signage, vehicles, clothing, print materials, and online / digital formats.

Image courtesy of the City of Salida.

Project management and oversight has been led by Slate Communications, the City’s communications consultant partner since 2019, with input and guidance from City staff. The board received a presentation from Kristen Knoll of Slate Communications on the project.

Bill Donovan, a local who was on the logo committee, explained, “I have lived here for over 20 years… one of my goals was to help generate a logo that met my high standards as a as a designer but also as a local. I was impressed with the process; it was more than complete. [Knoll] and the city were open to contribution and discussion, they were broad and comprehensive. The committee was super diverse and included very stubborn locals; so, everyone involved, there has been a lot of debate and a lot of discussion.

From March to May 2021, city staff met with Slate Communications to develop a logo redesign process that incorporates resident feedback and allows local graphic designers to create a new logo. A brand committee has been set up.

From May to June, stakeholder interviews were held with residents, business owners and artists to gather information about the community. The brand committee made up of local graphic designers, artists, community leaders, city employees and city council members met five times starting in May.

From July to August 2021, local graphic designers who reside in Chaffee County were invited to submit previous portfolio work. Their work was criticized by the logo branding committee using a design matrix. Twenty-one local designers responded to the opportunity and submitted their work. The top two local graphic designers, with the highest overall ratings in the scoring matrix, were asked to create new logo options for the committee’s consideration.

In August, the two local designers and the designers at Slate Communications spent about a month designing eleven logo options for the Committee to consider.

In September, Slate Communications presented the logo options to the Committee and the logos field was reduced to five. The main logos were edited at the request of the Committee and reviewed again at another meeting of the Committee.

The top three logos were then shared with the community for review and comment via a visual online poll. Responses to the survey voted strongly in favor of the logo that was ultimately chosen.

The brand committee selected this top logo of this process for the approval of the City Council of Salida, emphasizing that the chosen logo design meets all the requirements and objectives of the project and is a strong visual representation of the organization of the city.

City administrator Drew Nelson explained, “From a staff perspective, I really appreciate the ferocity with which Bill and others have approached this issue. They were really looking for the community as a whole and I think that’s an important thing. We really want to show who we are as an organization, but also everything that we offer here in Salida.

Slate Communications will work with municipal staff to develop and implement the logo update schedule. Next steps include updating the brand guide that Slate Communications created in 2020 with all new logo details, identifying secondary and tertiary colors, and the proper use and placement of the logo in all of its capabilities on the plethora of media on which the logo appears, or should appear. It was stressed that this is a long process and that it will not happen overnight. They will work to identify the greatest graphic needs and financial considerations for physical signage on buildings. Digital updates can be done faster.

“We want to have a process that really meets the needs of the city and the priorities of the city,” said Knoll.Meet Salida’s New Logo


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