Gov. Jared Polis unveiled a new state emblem for reporters Tuesday, saying it will eventually be the logo of the land.

He called it a soft launch for what Polis called a "more inclusive" representation of Colorado. It replaces a five-year-old, green triangle-shaped logo that wasn't universally liked, drawing comparisons to a carbon monoxide warning label.

Gov. John Hickenlooper's administration raised $2.6 million in private donations and pro bono work around that branding effort.

Polis didn't fork over any state money for the new logo. It already had been developed in-house and was being used on apparel and trinkets handed out at trade shows by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade's Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.

The new logo was created by Jenny Merchant for the outdoor office while she was brand director for COEDIT. She's now the brand director for the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus.

"In an effort to promote all [that] Colorado has and using the tools we have in the state, we wanted to provide a fresh representation of the state brand," Polis told reporters Tuesday. 

"It evokes our wonderful, iconic state flag, the familiar red, white, blue and yellow color palette of our flag and the symbolism of our flag," he said, describing the emblem on the knit cap he put on for the announcement 

Polis noted the evergreen trees and a twin peaks embraced by dominant C, "representing Colorado's outdoor spirit and our natural resources." He said the C's redness reflected the color of the state's soil and rocks.

"The yellow represents the state's abundant sunshine and the wheat of the Great Plains," the governor from Boulder continued. "... The rich blue base, of course, represents our water, which is absolutely critical to our state."

He said the new logo would replace the old one as agencies go about the normal process of changing out signs, websites and letterhead.

"We didn't have to spend a penny to get a great new logo that I think represents out whole state, more than a simple peak," said Polis, which he said appealed to his nature as a businessman.

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