The sound of a motorcycle revving filled the Denton school board room last week.
On a large screen played a video with the logos for a series of familiar brands including Harley Davidson, McDonald’s, Nike, Facebook, Starbucks, the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys. The series of logos in the video ended with the Denton school district’s current logo smashing into several pieces to unveil a new proposed logo.
The presentation last Tuesday was for discussion only and no action was taken on the option.
“This is the design we feel best represents our local and global community,” said Chris Shade of the proposed logo.
Shade is the school district's director of school improvement and support and chairman of the district’s Educational Improvement Council, a group of district staff, parents, community and business leaders formed last year to revamp the district’s mission, vision, values and goals and to redesign the district logo.
He said the proposed logo also represents the district’s mission statement, adopted in March, which states the district intends to empower “lifelong learners to be engaged citizens who positively impact their local and global community."
Shade said logo “concept ideas” were submitted locally in response to the Educational Improvement Committee’s social media post and districtwide e-mail. Upon reviewing local entries, he said the committee opted to “crowd source” the logo project through the website, 99designs. The district received 239 entries for the projects from all across the world including submissions from designers in Indonesia, Turkey, Australia, Germany, Canada and the United States.
According to district documents, some Educational Improvement Committee representatives shared several logos submitted by designers. Representatives narrowed prospective logos to six designers. Those logo concepts were presented to district administrators, and after some tweaking by designers, the final logo was presented to the district cabinet, according to district documents.
“The final logo was chosen for its unique design and its ability to visually represent ‘the local and global community’ within the ‘D,’ which many reviewers felt was essential,” Shade wrote in an e-mail Thursday.
In the final image presented to board members, it was explained that the upper half of the “D” is an image of the tip of the dome from the Courthouse on the Square, representative of the local community and “gathering spot” for Denton. The lower portion of the “D” is reflective of a globe representing the global community. Shade said the pieces of the globe “represent opportunity” and the globe’s colors, “diversity.” A “swoosh” separates the upper and lower half of the “D” and Shade said it represents “both movement and the paths available to our students. Its topsy-turvy curve represents the ability to move in a variety of directions.”
“Art is certainly a matter of taste, but the design tells an amazing story, with lots of time and thought invested in its design,” Shade wrote. “On behalf of the many, many positive comments and e-mails sent to me after the logo was unveiled, I hope the logo is adopted as presented.”
Shade said the logo is available in color, gray scale and black and white, and the “D” can stand alone for “branding and marketing” uses.
According to district officials, the current logo has been in place for at least two decades.
Some board members said they like the proposed logo and another requested to see more options.
Board President Charles Stafford said the proposed logo is “different.”
“It definitely brands Denton,” he said.
Trustee Jim Alexander said the district has got to move forward thinking of the larger community and selecting a logo that represents the current generation and future students. He said he feels the proposed logo projects that.
Trustee Jeanetta Smith said she’s interested in viewing other options. While the logo presented could represent the community, Smith said she doesn’t see it reflecting the district.
“I don’t see our school district in that at all,” she said at the meeting. “I don’t see this representing us.”
Board members discussed that helping people understand the meaning behind the proposed logo is important.
Superintendent Jamie Wilson said eventually the school board will take a vote on a new district logo. The board at a future agenda-setting meeting can request that district officials bring more options before the board at a future meeting or they could request the proposed option be put on a future board agenda for a vote, he said.
Shade said the district paid 99designs $799 for service and fees, and having paid that amount the district owns the rights to the proposed logo presented.
“If the board opts not to adopt the logo at this time, it can choose to retain the current logo or outsource the project using another method of development,” he wrote in an e-mail.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.