City Council | Branding South Pasadena

The city has embarked on an economic development planning initiative that will help market and promote its assets to business and developers. A key component of any marketing and branding initiative is a consistent ‘look and feel’ to materials developed

PHOTO: News | John Pope, Public Information Officer for the City of South Pasadena

A new venture is underway on an economic development planning initiative designed to identify the City of South Pasadena’s strength and weaknesses by marketing and promoting those assets to businesses and developers.

John Pope, the city’s public information officer, said during last week’s City Council meeting the effort will help existing businesses thrive while attracting others to come to the city and increase economic activity in South Pasadena.

The city, under Pope’s direction, has developed city-marketing materials to communicate a consistent, contemporary, forward-approach to economic and business development.

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“A key component of any marketing and branding initiative is the look and feel to the materials developed by an agency,” Pope explained in a city report on the topic. “The starting point for that consistency is a common set of colors, typography and logo design that can be applied to branding and marketing materials.”

Addressing the council, Pope explained that an evaluation was conducted of South Pasadena’s historical and current logos and city seal, noting that several city department logos are now in use, including the police, fire, library and community services. “The city does not have any guidelines developed for the use of typography and/or colors,” explained Pope. “As a result, the various logs and city seal were developed independently and do not comprise a unified, coherent city brand.”

In addition, Pope said it is “challenging” to incorporate the city’s historic City Seal into digital media, including the website, e-neighbors and other materials. “When the city redesigned its website last fall, our design consultants recommended an updated logo, typography and color palate that could be utilized more effectively with digital media,” he said.

Guidelines for the branding will include:

  • A new logo that retains the traditional South Pasadena tree theme, with a more contemporary feel for modern audiences.
  • A primary palette and accent colors.
  • Typography.
  • Logo forms and orientation.
  • Guidelines for the use of space and minimum sizes to protect the integrity of the logo and work mark.

Questions were raised among council members regarding the color selection of the branding effort, some favoring a blue color selected for the new look others liking a green shade. The color scheme will continue to be debated at a future meeting.

Pope emphasized that the logo and brand guidelines are not intended to replace the official City Seal.

“The seal will be retained for all formal, official communications, such as council, commissions and boards, as well-established uses such as the city street signs and business cards,” he said in his report. “The logo and brand guidelines would be used in areas such as digital properties (web, city newsletters, and social media) branding and marketing materials and merchandise.”