Downtown Santa Cruz

Something for Everyone

Downtown Santa Cruz is dear to my heart. At the time of this project, I was both living and working in the the heart of downtown. It was an honor to update the visual identity for a place I call home. The people of Downtown Santa Cruz breath life into the city. I loved soaking in their energy as part of my creative process. It was special to be in a position where I could walk along the city’s streets and interact with the people who live, work, and play here. Check out the latest from DTSC here.

Santa Cruz Downtown Association

Branding, Print, Photography

Design by Cosmic


The photos of the downtown kiosk first capture the original orange script logo and then the updated primary logo. A goal was to maintain the fondness of a cherished brand, yet delivering a visual identity that could keep up with the city’s growth and future direction. The word “downtown” reads loud and clear in the primary logo, symbolic of the fact that it is central to Santa Cruz both figuratively and in it’s physical location. The icon, housing the stacked DTSC abbreviation, ties in to the primary logo with it’s typography and line elements.

Visual Language

Color Palette
Navy, orange, and cream were selected as primary colors – navy to represent an established brand with respect to the historic nature of Downtown, cream as a classy neutral, and orange as a nod to the original logo. Secondary accent colors, gold and teal, were selected to play alongside the navy and cream.

Photography Style
A distinctive duotone photo treatment was created to unify imagery and provide a visual language amidst a naturally vibrant atmosphere. An Adobe Photoshop source file was created for the Downtown Association team to easily treat photos! The duotone photo filter shifts darker tones to the brand’s navy hue and lighter tones to either orange, gold, teal, or cream.

Key works elemental to the heartbeat of Downtown – such as “eat”, “play”, and “experience” – were styled in sentence case and a larger font size, then paired alongside the iconic uppercase DOWNTOWN typography of the primary logo. This style carries throughout various mediums implemented in extending the brand.

Directory Brochure

A brochure highlighting the best of Downtown Santa Cruz was created to enhance visitor’s experience. Designing this asset was a fun way to bring the project home, put the new brand to the test, and capture the essence of DTSC in a tangible piece.