Date: January 26, 2021
ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan has announced the launch of a new, user-friendly and mobile device-accessible website and brand identity for the City of Albany. This is a culmination of collaborative efforts between City employees, The College of Saint Rose, and CivicPlus.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “Having a user-friendly and mobile device-accessible website is extremely important to our residents and visitors alike. As an administration dedicated to equity and transparency, we lean heavily on our City website to publish critical information, and COVID-19 has shone an even brighter light on how vital it is to have a 21st century website. I am incredibly proud of Sarah Kampf, the City’s Special Projects Coordinator, and our IT Department led by Mark Dorry, and thank them for their tireless efforts to make this new website a reality. I also want to thank The College of Saint Rose, Professor Breaznell, and Gabriela Gordon for creating this exciting new brand identity representing our diverse, progressive City and its rich history.”
Special Projects Coordinator Sarah Kampf said, “It is exciting to see the culmination of this website project come to fruition in a beautiful new site for the City of Albany that answers the calls for a more intuitive and user-friendly online experience. This would not have been possible without the assistance of many employees throughout every city department, and our partners at CivicPlus and The College of Saint Rose. As a City employee, a resident of Albany, and a graduate of The College of Saint Rose, it was wonderful to be a part of this important project that brought so many in the community together and will help in continuing to keep our residents and visitors informed.”
CivicPlus, a well-established software engineering firm that provides integrated technology solutions for over 4,000 local governments, was selected to help create the new website.
The City of Albany currently contracts with SeeClickFix, a citizen request app that assists the City in responding to quality of life issues. In Fall 2019, CivicPlus acquired SeeClickFix, and will lead to a more seamless online experience for Albany residents and visitors. SeeClickFix helps thousands of citizens request repairs in their community through its web and mobile application tools.
CivicPlus Project Manager Justin Blecha said, “Implementing the City of Albany’s website was a collaborative effort between the City of Albany and CivicPlus. There were a number of meetings, emails, and phone calls that went into successfully implementing the City’s new website. The dedication of the City of Albany’s team did not go unnoticed and was vital to the success of launching the new website. It’s exciting to see the finished product knowing the amount of work that went into this project. We’re excited to continue building on the relationship between the City of Albany and CivicPlus.”
In late 2018, the City of Albany’s Department of Administrative Services completed a survey and determined there was no consistent or coherent City brand identity. In early 2019, the City and The College of Saint Rose partnered to undertake a project led by graphic design students to create a new brand identity. The students were tasked with creating a modern brand identity that represents our diverse, progressive City and its rich history, and incorporates the City’s colors.
Ann Breaznell, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at The College of Saint Rose and coordinator of the Saint Rose identity design portion of the project said, “The College of Saint Rose Graphic Design program was thrilled to be asked to collaborate with the City of Albany on a new brand linking the City’s rich history with contemporary aesthetics. During the spring semester of 2019, thirteen graphic design majors, immersed in Albany history, toured Albany Institute of History & Art’s extensive collection of early Albany artifacts, met with the City Historian and, working in teams, developed several exciting design alternatives, applied by the students to stationery, websites, vehicles and promotional materials for City consideration. Ultimately, a brand designed by Gabby Gordon, BFA 2020, was selected by the City for Albany’s new identity.”
The first round of work presented by the students in early 2019 consisted of seven concepts for the City to choose from. Ultimately, a design created by The College of Saint Rose student Gabriela Gordon was selected. Gabriela’s design was inspired by Dutch artifacts circa 1650–1690 that were on display at the Albany Institute of History & Art. Gabriela graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from The College of Saint Rose with dual minors in Photography and Art History and is currently working as a graphic designer.
Gabriela Gordon, Designer of the new City of Albany branding, said, “I remember feeling incredibly excited the day my classmates and I found out that we as Graphic Design students at The College of Saint Rose, would be given the opportunity to work on the new brand for the City of Albany. Throughout the process, I increased my knowledge of the city that I had started to call home (and still do) a few years prior. The design process as a whole was a true collaboration between many talented The College of Saint Rose Designers — The ideas, thoughts, and hard work that my team produced brought this brand to life. I am truly thrilled that the culmination of our collaboration and dedication to design was chosen to represent the City for hopefully many years to come.
This new brand identity will be utilized on various City of Albany publications, electronic and print materials, and other mediums. The City’s coat of arms will continue to be utilized on proclamations, birth and death records, and other official City documents where required by law.