New club logos emerge after policy changes

Like it or not, the redesigns are in. On Feb. 1, Pullman’s Office of Marketing and Communication released a memo to clubs, which clarified changes in branding regulations.  Consequently, an array of Washington State University Vancouver clubs were notified that they had to change their logos, including the Veterans Club and Associated Students, International Students Association, Cougar Pride Club and The VanCougar newspaper. Many leaders initially responded with surprise and confusion.

The memo clarified how club names and logos should be displayed. “A club has the ability to show affiliation with WSU Vancouver in its official club name. However it must identify the club prior to the university,” the memo said. “A club may use the university spirit marks (cougar head, Butch, etc.) … But [the spirit marks] may not be altered in their shape, pattern and design. In order to be in compliance the cougar head must be presented in crimson, especially for online use. For print purposes the cougar head may be black, reversed or gray.”

The deadline for the required clubs to submit new titles and logo designs was last Monday.

A few minutes spent scrolling through club logos in CougSync reveals the different purposes these images serve. Some are direct and explicitly state the name and purpose of the club. Others offer a more nuanced approach to identifying the club’s purpose and identity. Each of the affected clubs approached the situation uniquely, through contests, voting and resurrection of past icons. Although the approaches were different, the reasons why were similar. According to club leaders, it was important for clubs to preserve the presence of each club on campus, and finding the best new logo was part of that process.

Despite some initial resistance and mild confusion, the Veterans Club and Associated Students used a voting method to agree upon a new design. “We used the image incorporated on our club t-shirts,” said club leader Scott Thompson. “The vote was unanimous.” With grey footprints of military boots stomping on a crimson background, the logo welcomes viewers to take a step in the shoes of veterans and students associated with the group.

For the International Students Association, the redesign of their club logo provided an opportunity to reflect upon the club’s values. The club leader, Raj Lamichhane, sought the assistance of a creative artist to help create a new logo. “We decided to have the world map on it so that we can address students from different countries and cultures,” Lamichhane said. “We are still working to develop our logo so that it looks simple and attractive to the students.” With a simple black, white and grey color scheme, the image of the world is encompassed by the title of the club, inviting all students to join the club regardless of where one might have come from.

Members of the Cougar Pride Club worried the implications of the changes would inadvertently hurt the club. “We already miss our rainbow cougar head, but we had fun redesigning the new logo,” said club leader Stefani Mammenga. “It’s a throwback to Cougar Pride Club’s old logo from over half a decade ago!” With font size, structure and colors, the logo captures the attention of viewers and reminds them to be proud of whom they are. The original cougar head also makes a subtle appearance.

The VanCougar newspaper was also affected by the changes in regulations. The newspaper hosted a contest to find a new logo design with an opportunity to win a $40 gift card to the Bookie. With over a dozen standalone submissions, the competition provided a wide range of options from which to choose. The winning logo design will be revealed soon.

The clubs that were affected by the changes in branding policies and enforcement complied in a timely manner and generally met the deadline. The process allowed the affected groups to reexamine their vision and roles on campus, and create logos that reflect those views.

*Editor’s note: The VanCougar thanks everyone who submitted designs for the logo contest. We are currently in the process of getting a design approved by the Student Media Board, and will have an updated logo in an upcoming issue.
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