The City of Boulder’s brand conveys our purpose, how we serve the community and how we support the city’s mission, vision and values. This information is intended to help staff better serve the public through clear, consistent and compelling written and visual communication.

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Boulder skyline

Follow the City of Boulder Brand Standards

Communications from the city organization or city staff that is intended to promote, inform or engage should align with the City of Boulder Brand Standards.

Communication staff may provide guidance to support successful brand-appropriate communications. Outside vendors should follow the official City of Boulder Brand Standards here.

Brand Quick Start Guide

Brand Strategy

The City of Boulder audience includes all people who live, work, play and visit in Boulder. As an organization that serves the public, we do our best to consider the needs of everyone.

Local government audience members generally aren’t as familiar with the internal organization and processes. To help avoid confusion, we emphasize a One Boulder approach when describing programs and projects. Use the City of Boulder as the subject as often as possible. If you need to be specific, use a complete department name, rather than referring to specific city workgroups (e.g. City of Boulder Communication and Engagement Department).

Some of our audience groups include:

  • Those who live in Boulder: renters, homeowners, students and people experiencing homelessness
  • People who work in Boulder
  • City employees
  • City leadership
  • City Council
  • Boards and commissions
  • Businesses
  • Visitors
  • Prospective residents
  • Volunteers
  • Peer cities and partner organizations, such as the University of Colorado Boulder

A brand voice is how we evoke our unique personality as an organization. The City of Boulder brand voice is inspired by the city’s vision, values and objectives: We are creative, helpful, welcoming, accessible and knowledgeable.

Several guiding principles define our brand voice and support quality public service. We strive to follow these principles to help support a consistent citywide brand voice.​

Equitable

Basic and pertinent information is available through multiple channels and in multiple languages.​ All Communications:​

  • Are inclusive, welcoming, compassionate and understanding. ​
  • Are accessible and support the city’s racial equity work. ​
  • Support the physical and mental well-being of community members. ​

Recognizable

  • Community members can distinguish our organization's programs, policies and programs from other Boulder entities.​

Consistent

  • All communications support the City of Boulder Brand Strategy and adhere to the City of Boulder Brand Identity.​

Clear

  • We avoid jargon or "city speak" so everyone understands. Communications are efficient and concise.​

Informative

  • We provide background context. We point to resources for more information. ​

Accurate

  • We check for accuracy and share information that is evidence-based, transparent, correct and truthful. ​

Engaging

  • Content is compelling, interesting, and holds attention. Communications support informed decision-making for community members. ​

Sustainable

  • We are mindful of natural resources and use them in a manner that does not deplete them over time. ​

Innovative

  • Communication tactics and strategies are based on the latest information and best, most effective practices. We continually learn to help improve service to the community. ​

Our communication is easier for people to understand when we write in a simple, clear and consistent style. Here is how we strive to write:

  • Follow the City of Boulder Writing Style Guide for all internal and external communication.
  • Follow the City of Boulder Web Content Guide for web content.
  • Use AP Style with some city-specific exceptions.
  • Write, design and share based on the needs of community members.
  • Provide the full story, prioritizing openness and transparency.
  • Use clear, simple language. Use acronyms sparingly.
  • Write at an 8th grade reading level so our content is easy to understand.
  • Use active voice.
  • Use contractions.
  • Be conversational yet professional.
  • Be concise:
    • Paragraphs should have 2-3 sentences max. Sentences should be less than 10 words with one complete idea. Longer sentences should be broken down into shorter ones.
  • Link to resources for more details and information.
  • Use a One Boulder approach, emphasizing the City of Boulder organization first and departments and work groups second, and only when more specifics are needed.

Typography

Use Adelle Sans whenever possible for typography. Since this is an Adobe font, it is not always available. As alternatives, Assistant or Arial can be used as necessary.

Logos

There is one official city logo with different treatment options. The black city logo is preferred but the following treatment options are acceptable.

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Approved City of Boulder logos

Colors

Color is our second most important brand element. Pairing our logo with a consistent color palette is the single best way to develop brand awareness for the City of Boulder.

Color Diagram
City of Boulder Communications and Engagement

Official City of Boulder Color Palettes

Using the City of Boulder Color Palette

The primary blue palette should always be incorporated into city designs. The secondary palettes are to help bring them to life. View details, including HEX codes, for the complete city color palette.

Primary Palette

Use this palette with all communications to help support brand recognition.

Boulder Blue

This is our hallmark color. The muted, earthy blue symbolizes reliability, professionalism and trust as a city organization and community. The earthy tone reflects our love of the natural places we call home. Use at least some Boulder Blue in all external communications.

HEX

RGB

CMYK

406F8C 64, 111,140 80, 50, 31, 7

Glacier Blue

Arapaho Glacier is the largest glacier in Colorado and helps provide water for Boulder. The city's Climate Initiatives department is working to address the climate emergency, which would help protect the world's glaciers.​​​​​​

HEX

RGB

CMYK

E2EDF2 226, 237, 242 10, 2, 3, 0

Betasso Blue

The Betasso Water Treatment Plant, located in the foothills west of Boulder, treats water from North Boulder Creek and Barker Reservoir, which is fed by Middle Boulder Creek.

HEX

RGB

CMYK

8CB8CA 140, 184, 202 45, 16, 15, 0

Winter Night

Here in Boulder, winter is both a time of play and of restoration. Winter Night is reminiscent of the sky on quiet nights when moonlight bounces off fresh snow.

HEX

RGB

CMYK

13252D 19, 37, 45 86, 68, 58, 66

Grayscale

This classic palette is helpful for every design. Use white and Sidewalk Silver to create an open feel and black to create dramatic contrast that draws the attention.

Color

HEX

RGB

CMYK

Black 000000 0, 0, 0 75, 68, 67, 100,
Sidewalk Silver F4F4F4 244, 244, 244 3, 2, 2, 0
White FFFFFF 255, 255, 255 0, 0, 0, 0

Contact Branding Committee