A discussion over the color of the city’s moniker for public dissemination has become a bit of a challenge as one City Councilmember wants the palette to remain green while others are advocating for blue.
Officials say the city logos and marketing materials are not consistent and don’t have a common set of colors, typography and design.
“Over the past of couple of months, I’ve done an audit of city logos and marketing materials and I’ve found a lot of inconsistencies,” John pope, So Pas public information officer, told the City Council at its Feb. 20 meeting. “The various logos and materials were developed by different designers over time and they are not very consistent. We don’t have an established color palette or typography. It kind of goes project by project.”
Moreover, the city’s seal was in need of an overhaul as well, according to Pope. He said the web designers suggested the seal be modified because when you shrink it, it becomes nearly unrecognizable.
Also, Pope said the consensus with web designers and others was to change the city’s traditional color green to a newer blue palette.
“There were multiple drivers for this project,” Pope said. “The primary goal is to support the economic development initiatives. Establish more consistency. This is where we get into striking a balance between a brand that can reflect the city’s heritage and traditions and also move the city forward with a more modern and contemporary feel. One thing I want to emphasize is that this does not replace the city seal.”
Councilmember Diana Mahmud wants to incorporate the green because it symbolizes the city’s move toward clean energy. Mahmud is the chairwoman of the new board for the Clean Power Alliance, which is the South Pasadena’s new power supplier as of last month.
“I have one serious concern,” Mahmud said during the Feb. 20 council meeting in response to the brand presentation. “The primary colors of the steel blue, gray blue, the dark-steel gray blue and the light-steel gray blue because they don’t have any connection whatsoever to South Pasadena. I was wondering … if there was a possibility to change them.”
Mahmud wants green because it represents the city’s move toward 100 percent renewable, clean energy and its aggressive commitment to preserve the urban forest.
“We’ve done a couple of things,” Mahmud said. “We’ve adopted a 100 percent renewable energy as the default for our residents. We have just appropriated money from our general fund so that the city can become 100 percent renewable. To me green is really important for two reasons. One, because we are a tree city and tree is in our symbol and we’ve been associated as a tree city for decades. And I also don’t want to lose sight of the fact that we really are trying very hard to be as sustainable as we can be. And I think that is best communicated by a darker green, not a bright green, but a tasteful darker green…. To me it expresses South Pasadena. To me it has a stronger connotation not only with who we are, but who we strive to be, which is very renewable, very sustainable, very environmentally minded.”
Mayor Dr. Marina Khubesrian said she supported the blue color for the city’s branding and wanted to defer to the web designer as to their best choice.
The council decided to bring both colors for comparison along with recommendations from the web designers before making a final decision.