City of Tucson Mark & Brand Guide

by Mardelle Mattingly
featured image:City of Tucson Mark & Brand Guide featured image two:City of Tucson Mark & Brand Guide featured image three:City of Tucson Mark & Brand Guide featured image four:City of Tucson Mark & Brand Guide featured image five:City of Tucson Mark & Brand Guide


City of Tucson Mark & Brand Guide

Submission by

Mardelle Mattingly

Project Lead

Joan Landers / Project Lead


Kenna Smith, Creative Director Jessica Castillo, Senior Designer Mardelle Mattingly, Graphic Designer

The City of Tucson’s brand mark was designed by Tucsonan Mary Crowfoot in 1949, a mark that represented the “Old Pueblo” — not Arizona’s second largest city with a bold future and rich history! In 2021, a small internal group from the City of Tucson’s Manager’s Office was ready to reenergize conversations about a new mark and approached the creative/design team at Kaneen Communications. Our goal was to finalize a fresh mark and start an internal roll with brand guidelines by January 2022. Our aspiration was a modern mark that would:
• Reflect the palette, look, and energy of Tucson
• Be ADA-compliant and comply with Section 508 IT accessibility guidelines (
• Immediately work for digital applications such as webpages, favicon, e-signatures, virtual backgrounds, social media, PowerPoints, video mark. This would coincide with the development of a new City website by a third-party vendor
• Have the buy-in of City of Tucson leaders, staff, and elected officials

The team — Kaneen’s project manager, creative director, senior designer, and graphic designer — used this five-step process to successfully deliver the mark and an online brand book:

1. Research and discovery
2. Creative brief of understanding
3. Conceptualization & digital sketches
4. Presentations, feedback, and collaboration
5. Revisions, branding guidelines, production, and support

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero rolled out the mark at the December 2021 State of the City virtual and in-person event. City staff and leadership are embracing the mark with a City point person as Q&A contact.

Featured Image of: Mardelle Mattingly

Mardelle Mattingly

This was a first for me as a graphic designer — helping to create a mark and brand guide from concept to launch for a major city. One of my main roles as a designer is to be a problem-solver, whether it’s creating a new mark, email signature, web design or e-newsletter. Other lessons learned include: • ADA guidelines around design, colors, and readability are critical and different in digital vs print. Include the graphic designer in upfront planning. • Your branding guide will be challenged and tweaked after being released to the world. You can’t account for every little thing. • Approvals, approvals, approvals are a reality of a large public-facing project

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