February 01, 2023

(2/7/23 Update) City Leaders Considering New Logo as Part of Branding Effort

At Monday's meeting (2/6/23), the Rapid City Council tabled a measure seeking approval of the City logo and branding effort on a 9-1 vote.  The tabling decision effectively kills the measure.




**City Council will vote

on final selection at February 6 meeting;

**Logo would be part of new look

on city vehicles, stationary, signage

RAPID CITY, SD--The City’s Legal and Finance Committee will take up formal discussion of approving a City logo at Wednesday afternoon’s meeting - the next step in a detailed 18-month process to develop the City’s first-ever logo and marketing brand.  A hearing on approving the new city logo is set for next Monday’s City Council meeting.

          Officials indicate the process to develop the City’s first logo has included detailed internal discussions, input from City Council members and department directors, polling of City employees and the work of a Rapid City marketing firm.

           The final selection features a bold, tri-colored ‘RC’ with golden yellow, forest green and navy blue colors featuring a skyline embedded in the letters. The initials attach to the words ‘City of Rapid City’ with a tagline of ‘Live. Work. Grow.’  The images include both ‘stacked’ and ‘horizon’ versions that can be utilized on city vehicles, stationary, hosting materials and signage.

          “It’s amazing that in Rapid City’s nearly 150 years of existence, we haven’t developed a brand to identify with, something to call our own,” said Mayor Steve Allender.  “Some of our vehicles, such as street department and public works vehicles, have utilized a simple design for a number of years. Otherwise, we’ve been content to use the City’s seal for our stationary, for our promotional and sponsorship opportunities.”

         Allender said the City seal, featuring Mount Rushmore and the date of the City’s incorporation, is outdated.

         “Quite frankly, we have needed a new look for many years,” said Allender.  “Our city is growing and moving to the future with great potential and opportunity.  We need a look that captures that energy; that can develop a sense of enthusiasm and identity.

         “Over the past several months, as we engaged and worked to create a new city vision, mission and set of values, it was equally important to move forward with a new look - a new logo and tagline that identifies Rapid City not only to our citizens, but to our friends and neighbors across the state and nation.”

          The 18-month process began in August 2021 with strategic retreats involving city council members, department directors and the mayor to create a citywide vision, mission and values.  The topic of a city logo was among the suggestions brought forward.  City officials embarked on a detailed process to develop a brand for the City. 

          Leah Braun, the City’s Culture Strategist at the time, had been tasked to lead the effort to create the City’s new vision, mission and values and took on the additional role of developing a City logo.  Braun, now the City’s Assistant Human Resources Director, organized the effort to develop options for a new logo then compiling reactions and input from City employees, department directors, Council members and the mayor.

          “It was a detailed process,” Braun said of the effort to develop a City logo. “Developing a logo or brand is needed in helping Rapid City and its citizens develop an identity and move forward into the future.  Part of that identity is a logo or brand that can work alongside the City’s vision, mission and values, that is embraced by citizens and visitors alike.”

         Braun outlined the selection process for a new City logo:

April, 2022: Last April, a series of polls were administered to council members and city employees to narrow the choices of mission and vision to three and values to eight choices;

June, 2022:  In June, the newly-revised mission, vision and values were introduced to the city council and directors.  The idea of creating a citywide logo and tagline were reintroduced; 

August, 2022: In August, quotes from local marketing firms were obtained to propose city logo and tag line options from our polling.  Robert Sharp and Associates was selected for the work, several options were developed;

November, 2022: Council members and department directors narrow the logo and tagline choices from five to three choices via an online survey; 

December, 2022:  In December, the entire City of Rapid City employee group along with the Council, were invited to vote on a final selection.  Nearly 400 people participated in the survey and a clear winner was determined; 

February, 2022:  The City Council will review the final selection for approval.  The marketing agency will create a brand guide and offer suggestions on how to utilize the new logo on everything from the City’s website and stationary to vehicle markings and city signage.

          Allender said he was pleased with the detailed work that went into the development and selection processes among Council members, department directors and City employees, specifically noting the level of enthusiasm among City employees to participate in the polling process.

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