PW Logo: Why not consider student input?



About two months ago, the administration unveiled the “new Pinewood brand” during a school assembly, much to the surprise of the student body.  The administration said it wanted a brand entirely unique to Pinewood, that wouldn’t resemble any other organizations.

The company that created Pinewood’s new logo is called Galarneau & Sinn, which has most notably worked with the San Jose Sharks and Stanford football team. The top-notch firm has collaborated under several high profile clients, admittedly at a price. After the dust cleared, the whole branding package cost Pinewood thousands of dollars
to create. Our old logo, iconic to any Pinewoodian, was simultaneously the logo for a NHL hockey team, the infa mous Florida Panthers. Thus, when printing t-shirts and ordering other athletic equipment, the logo caused many issues as companies would not print material without backing from the team.

The administration wanted a logo that could be used in any setting, a universal logo. Athletic Director Matt Stimson said that the department previously had many versions of the panther and they wanted only one. They selected a company that they knew did good work and put them on retainer. The company then came to school and listened to the ideas of the admninstraiton, including the athletic diector and a select number of faculty members, and came back with the logos we have today.

The idea of having new logos that solely represent Pinewood is not bothersome to me, and actually makes quite a lot of sense. However, the fact that the school paid a significant sum of money on a brand without any input from students is frustrating. Pinewood has many of its own talented artists, the large murals done by students a clear case in point. Why use an outside source, when there is the talent and possibility of a collaborative effort by the
student body?

Pinewood President Scott Riches said he’s happy with the logo overall.

“In hindsight I could have envisioned getting student input on the logo,” he added.  To me, this new Panther does not seems to represent the school like the old one use to. Don’t get me wrong, there are some parts of this brand I like a lot, but the friendly panther is something I have difficulty supporting. Well over three quarters of the time, these logos are used by the athletic department to represent the school in a sports setting. The logo lacks the formidable and polished façade that the teams should represent. In contrast, the curved lines and soft edges give players more of a huggable look rather than a competitive one.

I have been going to Pinewood my entire life and I agree that it was time for a change in logo. Even so, a logo that lacks a clean edge and costs the school thousands of dollars would not have been my first choice. Instead, a new logo decided on by the student body and faculty would turn it into a symbol of pride for Pinewood. A logo that was created for the students, by the students and to represent the school.