Opinion: new logos lack originality

Just like any company, the face of a post-secondary school needs to encompass the ideals of its community and its goals for the students who attend there. While most wouldn’t hold the brand of a community college in high regard, those who attend it do.

Clackamas Community College is going through a rebrand, to take place for its 50 year anniversary in 2016. The rebrand, consisting of a new logo, motto and mascot, will be displayed across the community and the college. If you’re a student of CCC, you’ve received an email asking you to vote on them. If you’re a student with any taste, you’d probably and that the options leave much to be desired.

Turtledove Clemens, a Portland marketing company, was hired by the college for the rebranding project spearheaded by its CEO, Jay Clemens. Before CCC, Turtledove Clemens handled local commercial marketing projects ranging from Oil Can Henry’s to the travel marketing of Mt. Hood. Some of their marketing services have already been rendered by the college for billboards and signage highlighting the college’s recent shift to prioritize the trades.  The rebranding was estimated to cost the college $25,000 to $40,000. At no additional cost to the college, Turtledove Clemens also helped to refresh and reformat  The Clackamas Print.

An email distributed to all students contained a link to a three-page survey. (It should be noted that the survey itself was written in Comic Sans, a font so hated it spawned a website called bancomicsans.com.)  The  rest page of the survey provided  five options for a new logo. Some have voiced that it seemed like they were subtle rip-off of other logos, and also, one sort of looks like a hazardous waste symbol.

The second page was for the school’s new slogan. You’ve probably seen the one that’s already on billboards, “Value. Training. Education. Support.”, which also includes a model instead of a real student, a departure from CCC’s previous “real-student” marketing. Some others are, “The real value,” “Learning with a purpose” and “It’s right. Here.”  The last one’s our favorite, purely because we’d  find incorrect grammar in an educational institution’s slogan amusing.

The last page is the CCC mascot theme. Our of the three options, the first one, we assumed, is “what happens when a cougar turns into a burn victim.” The second is a cheap knock off the already instituted cougar logo.  The third is the only one that seems semi-decent, save that it looks like the logo from Montana State.

Our only question is really just, “Why?” Why spend so much money for a designer from Portland to do a redesign of our school when we have a wealth of art students who could give us a superior product in exchange for a sandwich and a tuition waiver? Students know this campus and know these students, and know what it’s like to be a student here. But instead of giving a student an opportunity to take pride in redesigning a logo, you passed it on to someone who knows nothing about us. And that, CCC higher ups, is the saddest thing that we’ve ever heard.