File Under VIS & Concept

Ever Upwards

for fun

Apart from anything to do with actually playing baseball, the Colorado Rockies have a problem. Created in tandem with the team's founding in 1993, the team's visual identity is lackluster and uninspiring — not to mention that their mascot is a purple dinosaur named Dinger. To quote an article1 from Bleacher Report, "the look the Rockies have is lame…[and] is starting to feel dated two decades after the franchise's inception."

1. Though I don't disagree with BR's sentiment here, it does seem a little harsh. Regardless, the identity does feel like something that was thrown together quickly when the team started, and was just never (successfully?) readressed at any point in the twenty plus years since.

Leveraging the history and geography, I explored2 a new visual identity for the Rockies that celebrates and positions them as Colorado's Team. From the distinct lettering and type treatments inspired by antique mining certificates, to the textures taken from the printing techniques that are an integral aspect of the region’s visual landscape, this revitalized system brings forward the authenticity and heritage3 of the Front Range.

2. I undertook this project with two main objectives in mind: 1. To explore how a visual identity system can tell a cohesive and compelling story across multiple media, and 2. To explain to my dad, an avid sports fan, what I do for a living.
3. One of the most apparent, and most controversial, decisions I made was to change the color palette. The purple color was chosen for the line "purple mountains majesty" from "America the Beautiful." However, I believe pulling in the colors of the Gold Rush and bluebird skies that Colorado is known for feels more rugged and appropriate to the region.

What needs changing is how the Rockies present themselves…I personally wouldn't object to the Rockies making it easy on themselves by going for the truly awesome Gold Rush-inspired rebranding effort that Andy Stewart imagined on Behance.net.

Zachary D. Rymer, Bleacher Report

In addition to overhauling the core identity, I developed a strategy to introduce the new identity to the world. The Ever Upward promotional campaign emphasizes both the geography of the Front Range and the determination of the team, and spans print advertising, merchandise, and digital applications.

I wanted to rethink how major touchpoints for the brand could be treated more compellingly. The result was the Mountain Pass, a single badge that eliminated the need for an entire book of paper tickets. The Pass would be delivered to season ticket holders in limited edition packaging with season-specific fan gear.

Next, I reimagined the digital experience of the brand. Wanting to incorporate the twenty-year legacy of the team, I designed a microsite for season ticket orders that evoked the teams history by celebrating major players from the team's past. And with the Peak Position app, an exclusive perk for season ticket holders, I concepted ways to use emerging digital technologies to enhance the game day experience of the Rockies' biggest fans.

The final deliverable for this project is intended to give fans a way to engage with the brand in their own homes, tapping into the fact that Colorado is one of the largest beer-brewing regions in the country. The name Blake Street Brewery4 refers to the street on which the Rockies' stadium is located, and custom lettering extend the visual identity to a new form factor.

4. Granted, the Rockies' stadium is names "Coors Field," which admittedly could throw a wrench in this plan. The idea is that Coors would "ghost brew" the beer for the Rockies, in the same way that many established breweries make beer for Trader Joe's house label.

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