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School district approves new logo

The Denton school district is sporting a new logo.

In a 6-0 vote Tuesday, school board members approved an image recommended to them last month by the Educational Improvement Council, a group of district staff, parents and community and business leaders formed last year to revamp the district’s mission, vision, values and goals and to redesign the district logo.

“You’ll begin to start seeing it on our website as soon as this week,” Superintendent Jamie Wilson said.

Chris Shade, the school district’s director of school improvement and support and the chairman of the Educational Improvement Council, said he’s pleased with the board’s decision.

“On behalf of the EIC members made up of community members, business members, parents, district staff and staff from each and every campus, I am grateful the board recognized the significant contributions the members and administrators made behind the scenes to create a logo that represents the district’s new mission,” he said.

The new logo includes the full name of the district and a lot of the detail in the image is centered around the “D” in Denton. District officials say 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 a “gathering spot” for Denton.

The lower portion of the D is reflective of a globe, representing the global community. Shade also has 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 has 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.”

Board President Charles Stafford said the board’s decision to approve the new logo was basically in respect to the work and process the Educational Improvement Council put into selecting a new district image. He said he’s proud of the council’s effort.

“Several hundred people worked very hard to develop that logo, and I think the board honored the process and the work by its vote,” Stafford said. “I think the board looked at a lot of the choices but went with the direction of the EIC.”

Shade first presented the council’s logo recommendation to the board on June 25. At the time, he said the council felt the logo represented the local and global community and the district’s mission statement, which states the district intends to empower “lifelong learners to be engaged citizens who positively impact their local and global community.”

Shade said the group sought logo submissions from the public via e-mail and social media from April 1 through April 19. Upon reviewing the submissions at a meeting April 29, the council opted to “crowd source” the project.

A logo design contest was launched through the website 99designs on May 29. According to the website, the school district received 239 design entries from 32 designers.

The district received submissions from designers around the world, including Indonesia, Turkey, Australia, Germany, Canada and the United States, Shade said.

Shade has said the district paid 99designs $799 for service and fees, and that amount gives the district ownership rights to the logo approved Tuesday.

Logo surveys were distributed to Educational Improvement Council members and principals on June 6. The following day, prospective logos were narrowed to six. It was requested that the six designers tweak their entries.

Based on feedback received from district administrators, the council eliminated some of the prospective logos on June 10.

Final logos were presented to the superintendent and his advisers on June 17, and the council presented its recommendation to the school board the following week.

In addition to viewing the recommended logo, board members also observed other designs the council considered.

“As I thought more and more about this logo ... I liked it even better than when I first saw it,” said Jim Alexander, during a discussion of the logo Tuesday.

Mia Price added that the more she looked at the logo, the more she liked it.

Stafford said that in recent weeks he’s heard responses from friends that have run the gamut about the recommended logo.

“I’ve heard sharp criticism as well as strong approval, which is the nature of art,” Stafford said. “It doesn’t always evoke the same response from people, but it’s important it evokes a response.”

He added that major companies such as British Petroleum and Nike have pages upon pages explaining the significance behind their logos and that he believes if people come to understand the meaning behind the district’s new logo, they will have appreciation for how the council reached its decision.

“Even though everybody doesn’t love it, I think a lot of people will love it,” Stafford said. “I think that a great deal of what Denton ISD stands for was contemplated ... into this logo design.”

What’s important, Wilson said, is that the work of the Denton district defines it rather than the logo defining the school district.

Wilson said work will begin soon with the district’s publication department to implement the new logo into district products.

The former logo, he said, will be used on district stationary and other products until it can no longer be used or products with the former logo are exhausted.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.