Friday, December 7, 2007

A thing without feathers

Hope, Emily Dickinson famously once wrote, is a thing with feathers.

The new logo for the College of William and Mary is a thing without feathers. The NCAA decided the two feathers on the school's previous logo were "hostile and abusive" to Native Americans.

But the new logo is pretty hopeless. It's dull. W&M is a school rich in tradition and history, and this is the best they can do? The school was founded in 1693, for crying out loud. When I was at W&M back during the Bicentennial, we were known as "The Alma Mater of a Nation." Thomas Jefferson went here. So did James Monroe. It's in Williamsburg, home of pineapples and scrolly colonial writing and tricorner hats and little horsedrawn carriages.

Pictured above, it's the letters "W" and "M" as mirror images of each other. Take a look. Tell me when you wake up.

The Daily Press has a report on the new logo, and three new "secondary" logos.

The paper says that the school paid $7,000 to a New York design firm for the privilege.

The NCAA may be happy that the feathers are toast. But the early reviews of the new look aren't complimentary. An online poll about the new logo conducted by The Daily Press is running 81% hate it, 7% love it. Some 12 percent could care less.

Anita Poston, a Norfolk lawyer, former VBA president and W&M board member, may have put it best. She asked if the new logos would infringe upon the logo of Waste Management Inc., which has a side-by-side green W and gold M.

Great question. When your school logo could be confused with something on a garbage truck, it's time to punt and start all over again.


Christopher Smith said...

I'm amazed someone who attended WM during the bicentennial is tech-savvy enough to have a blog! Can you share the secret behind your longevity? =)

alumnus said...

Well said. It looks like a typo. What are they thinking using an upside down "W?" Given the way Gene Nichol has tried to turn the College of William & Mary upside down in the last two years, I guess it fits.