Deadspin recently published a couple of stories alleging that Kevin Johnson’s actions show how eager he is to promote his brand. The latest one actually used the phrase “promote his brand” in the lede. We meant it figuratively.

But yesterday, the Sacramento mayor and former NBA star made us look smarter than we deserve. Artistic Liquid, a California-based design outfit that boasts having built brands for clients including Justin Bieber, Teen Mania Ministries, and the Specimen Specialists of America, unveiled a series of logos it produced for and with Johnson.

“We worked with Sacramento’s Mayor & former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson to build an identity mark for his personal brand recognition,” Artistic Liquid announced. The featured graphic of the group of eight designs is a white K next to a slightly larger white J over a royal blue background. There’s also a design with “Kevin Johnson” over the catchphrase he uses in speeches (“A City That Works for Everyone”) and several showing a silhouette of the state capitol building.

There is no mention of Sacramento anywhere in the designs.

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Sacramento spokesman Ben Sosenko did not respond immediately to questions about whether taxpayer funds were used to help with Johnson’s “personal brand recognition.” As Artistic Liquid was introducing his logos, Johnson was in Connecticut, talking up charter schools.


Contact the writer at dave.mckenna@deadspin.com. Identity mark by Artistic Liquid.