It might be time for a new brand for the school district, according to superintendent Jeremy Morrow.
At the latest board meeting on April 9, he pitched an idea to the trustees for School District 72 to consider developing a new logo and tag-line. The “current” version is roughly 40 years old, having been designed back in the late 197os or early 1980s as part of a packaged approach to district logo development from the Ministry of Education.
“They provided stylized logos for all districts,” he told the board. “It’s a seven and a two. It’s a stylized logo.”
Morrow said the district has looked into the history of the logo’s origin to see if there were any “sacrosanct” elements. He added that Burnaby is the only other school district in the province still using the old stylized numbers.
“This is a really an opportunity, as we look at rolling out a new strategic plan, to renew … refresh with a logo,” he said. “A logo has the opportunity to communicate several important things.”
Morrow cited examples such as the district’s values, vision for the future, a potential promise to students or the context or geography of the district. He added that while the logo has served the district for decades, he noted that as times change, there have been some negative connotations expressed by community and staff, though he did not elaborate at the meeting. Later, the district cited examples including connotations of girl pushing a boy, or a boy leading the girl into a patriarchal education system, among others.
Morrow requested the board consider a new logo with a new tag-line with the goal of updating how the district is represented.
“Ideally, the logo could be introduced to district staff and community with the roll-out of the new strategic plan,” he said.
He suggested there are ways to minimize costs by working with a designer on a limited number of design and tag-line ideas from which the board could choose. As well, the district would implement the new branding through a phased approach, starting with electronic imaging and eventually replacing hard copy versions such as stationery, business cards and forms with the new logo and tag-line once new supplies are needed.
“We would wait until print supplies run out,” he said.
Morrow also said they would immediately change building signage along with the fleet of approximately 20 vehicles.
“Thankfully, there’s only two buildings that feature the district logo, which is our school board office and the maintenance building,” he said.
The district’s in-house painted could produce the decals to change the logo for the vehicle fleet.
The plan now is for the district to work with a designer to gather themes to consider.
“I think that this is a great time. I think that we’re in a season of renewal, I think we’re in a season of optimism,” he said.
Board members supported a motion to make the change. Trustee Kat Eddy said she would like to see the district getting input from local First Nations communities. Trustee Joyce McMann suggested seeing if senior art departments can provide ideas as well, though Morrow responded the process of making changes to concepts might be easier with a professional designer.
“When I was in high school, I remember creating a logo that was on the back of the stage of Carihi for 25 years,” McMann added.