In our fair berg, there are a lot of schools and a lot of logos – 2073 in our database (and still growing). Some are excellent. Some are blatant ripoffs of professional or collegiate logos. Others are … not-so-great.
As time passes and new schools come about or older schools rebrand, we see a lot of districts take a page right out of the professional and college page books to come up with great branding collateral, guidelines and presentations. A logo is the first thought or visual representation many will have of a school.
Still, there are some that need some work – whether they are older logos that just need a bit of a facelift or a rebrand that didn’t quite meet the mark.
For the next several weeks, we’re going to talk about those logos and what we don’t like and offer a quick 30-minute solution.
With that lengthy preamble, let’s introduce the Quick Fix series. We’re going to take a look at some logos in our state and give them a quick once-over to help strengthen the school’s identity.
For starters, we’ll go with a new school, one that’s not even open: Iowa Colony High School in Alvin. They very quietly put out a logo and didn’t make much fan fare out of it like Frisco’s Panther Creek did recently or tease things out a bit like Northside’s Sotomayor.
Iowa Colony chose the name Pioneers – the fifth in our database with that nickname. It’s a solid name, but one that doesn’t really bring up a great variety to visually show what it is.
A pioneer (noun) is a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area, or (verb) develop or be the first to use or apply (a new method, area of knowledge, or activity).
A quick Google search of “pioneer sports logos” yield a lot of results, but the overwhelming theme of most being of a man with either a flag or a musket wearing a coonskin hat. And while that was a good representation of a pioneer – 300 years ago – that’s not really a good idea for a school opening in 2022.
A lot of those results also show replications of the Wilkes Barre Scranton Pioneers logo of the Arena Football League 2.
Thus, Iowa Colony went with a very simplistic split-colored letters surrounded by the points of a five-point star (see below).
It’s not a bad logo, per se, it’s just not great or doesn’t have any “Wow” factor to it. Already, there are some inconsistencies with the star across its usage within the school between the football team, band and school’s Twitter accounts. Whether it’s the width of the star in certain places or the negative space between the points and the letters, something is just a little off somewhere.
Also the gray star points are just too fine. From far away, such as on a helmet decal, it would be hard to tell they exist. The same would go for white spacing in the letters. For a school logo with minimal athletic use, this is fine.
And a personal pet-peeve, the inconsistent width of the star outline is distracting.
Before Iowa Colony started using its current branding, we were sent what a few people thought to be the upcoming logo.
Though that wasn’t correct. Our initial search yielded that result, too, but that logo is used by a junior/youth football team and once again rips its imagery from the aforementioned, defunct AFL2 team.
But knowing this logo is in use around the school, makes the Iowa Colony logo that much more ho-hum.
Again mentioning the caveat of a 30-minute fix for each of these, here is what we came up with.
We stayed with the same hunter/forest green for the P, which is italicized to give the sense of moving forward in regards to pioneering; black to give the rocket ship within the negative space some depth; and gray for the fire/exhaust from the rocket’s engines. The color palette remains from the real logo since it’s not nearly as popular within the state as other combos.
The thought there is that Alvin is a suburban area of Houston, which is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s Mission Control Center. Because of that connection, space exploration seems a bit more forward-thinking of an idea for the term pioneer than the musket-toting, Davy Crockett lookalikes already out there.
Is it perfect? No. These probably won’t ever be. But the idea is to provide some creative thinking to logos in our state that could use some TLC.
Let us know in the comments what schools should be part of this series. We have a good list to start but appreciate the input.