Staff Editorial: New logo a disappointment

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December 7, 2007

3:36 PM

After more than a year of deliberating and taking suggestions from students, faculty and alumni, the College released its new logo yesterday, and everyone should be extremely pleased with the result.

p. Unless, of course, you don’t find Microsoft Word TextArt engaging.

p. It is hard to imagine any way that the Logo Committee could have produced a more bland new logo. While we respect the work of the committee, the result is uninspiring.

p. The new logo — a ‘W’ and an ‘M,’ neither of which looks quite like the intended letter, separated by an ampersand — is sterile and should have been thrown out in the early planning stages. While the intent was that the new logo should represent “an evolution rather than a revolution,” the committee produced a meaningless logo that is not an evolution, but rather a disappointing regression.

p. The variations of the new logo will be more than suitable for admissions office literature, notebooks from the book store or other symbols of the College. However, the reason for the creation of the new logo was never to reform these symbols, but to redefine the College’s athletic identity after the NCAA found the feathers to be hostile and offensive to American Indian groups.

p. This was an opportunity to consolidate the history and identity of the College and unveil a new brand for the College, one that could be emblazoned on the floor of Kaplan Arena, on the 50-yard line at Zable Stadium and on the uniforms of our athletes. In this regard, they have failed.

p. It is understandable that such a process would take longer than many people expected. The challenges of copyright and patenting laws are complex and certainly important. Yet it is for this very reason that such a minute change from the previous logo — simply spreading the letters, changing the yellow to gold, and adding an ampersand — is such a let down. Given a year’s time, is this the best option for the College? We are concerned that the level of bureaucracy demonstrated in this case seemed to be counter-productive.

p. While the Logo Committee and College President Gene Nichol are ecstatic, the College’s athletic programs still lack a proper symbol. Perhaps the difficulty was that the College was so adamant about keeping the Tribe moniker. Given this determination, it becomes extremely difficult to find a logo or a mascot that does not pertain to American Indians. The committee could have planned to reform our mascot, nickname and logo all at the same time — a popular suggestion among students has been something in the colonial or historical vein, since this clearly defines our College and the community in which we live.

p. Now, however, it will be extremely difficult for the committee to come up with a suitable mascot that is representative of our athletic teams. In fact, the group may not come up with one at all, but at this point, nothing should surprise us.

p. Nichol said in a statement on WM News that he was grateful that the committee had brought “welcome consistency to those symbols used to represent the College.”

p. Consistency at the expense of creativity is hardly a rational explanation for why the logo committee dragged its feet for more than a year to produce such a mediocre result. The bright side for students is that we know exactly who to blame.

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