Case Study

Colorado, Community Branding

Home to nearly 100,000 people, the independently-governed city of Longmont, CO blends rich urban amenities with small town charm. Often characterized by a feisty personality, innovative spirit and majestic Rocky Mountain views, this vibrant community continues to reach new heights in their pursuit of giving people a great place to live, work and visit.


Some communities talk about being inclusive, welcoming, environmentally conscious and innovative. The City of Longmont walks the talk every day. Working alongside their residents and stakeholders, this independent municipality pushes forward unconventional, yet pragmatic, sustainability initiatives, social services programs and infrastructure initiatives for the benefit of the entire community. Even better, they get to carry out all of this work surrounded by panoramic views of the most impressive mountains in the country. What could be better?

Unfortunately, the city’s brand didn’t reflect their distinct values and vision. Longmont also needed to overcome some concerns around crime, poverty and losing their small-town appeal amidst their growth. In essence, their identity needed to connect their creative, forward-thinking personality with their warm community feel. So, they teamed up with Guide Studio to help tell their story.


Create a brand identity that embodies Longmont’s authentic character and distinguishes them from surrounding communities.


“We needed to establish an easily recognized, unified identity…one that would help us build trust and create alignment between our ‘look’ and the world-class services we offer.”

Marijke Unger, Communications Manager, City of Longmont


  • Conducted two Discovery Workshops with key stakeholders and government officials, three focus groups – including kids from the Youth Center – and a citywide bus tour to gain a deep understanding of Longmont’s character and strengths.
  • Uncovered common themes and strengths through the Love Letters and Affinity Mapping exercises. Words and expressions like “natural beauty,” “welcoming,” “multicultural,” “sustainable,” and “progress,” rose to the top to influence strategy development.
  • Evolved the brand identity with a fresh, modern logo. A bold type treatment reinforces the strong, forward-thinking people in the community while the round silhouette provokes a welcoming feeling. The mark also blends representations of Long’s Peak and flowing creeks to depict the city’s picturesque landscape.
  • Strengthened the brand identity with graphic patterns, a vibrant color palette that mixes rich blues and warm golds, typeface options, and photography recommendations.
  • Created a new positioning statement, competitive advantages, and key messages to guide Longmont’s marketing communications with key messaging to reinforce it.
  • Developed comprehensive brand guidelines to help city officials leverage and share the new identity while protecting its equity.

“We were particularly impressed by Guide Studio’s expertise in municipal branding, as well as their brand discovery process and community involvement. We believe their work will drive a shift in perception about the quality of life we offer.”

Marijke Unger


  • Longmont’s refreshed brand identity sheds new light on their value while distinguishing them as a truly unique, inclusive community. As city leaders strategically unveil the new brand, they believe people will feel even more pride than they do today and help communicate their story to people outside of the community.

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