Logo goes back to the drawing board

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

The committee picking the next Jackrabbit logo decided Feb. 7 to get two new designs from the logo design firm.

“We’re going to pursue different styles of rabbits,” said Kat Brandtjen, Students’ Association Vice President and a student member of the logo committee. “We opened it up to discussion to get people back on board.”

Brandtjen said the committee wants an abstract design, but gave no real direction for the other look.

The move came after the latest design of the logo was sent to the committee in January and appeared in the Jan. 31 issue of The Collegian. In a story appearing in the same issue, Brandtjen said that design would be close to the final product.

Jenny Crickard is the University Relations director and the liaison between the committee and the firm. In an email response, she said the public printing of the logo version didn’t tell the whole story.

“Simply put, the published rabbit was a portion of one option and did not represent the whole design submitted by the design firm.”

She said the committee never decided on a final design.

“Currently, we have one option for the rabbit but the plan has always been to have more than one to consider,” she said. “We hope (to have designs) in the next few weeks but there is not a timeline.”

During the Feb. 7 meeting, Brandtjen said she showed committee members student designs that were given to her, as well as designs that were posted on a group on Facebook, a social networking Web site.

“I was amazed at how responsive they were to new ideas,” she said. “We discussed those and discussed what was emphasized in those (designs) that students were in tune to. I like student submissions because I have feedback to what students think.”

Crickard said one student brought a set of designs to her office.

“At this point, anything submitted will be treated as an indication of the direction some students are interested in going with the rabbit design,” she said.

Brandtjen said as a student representative, she feels comfortable after the last meeting.

“It was very clear we are staying with Phoenix Design Works, ” she said. “There is an understanding that (students) are going to be the ones wearing this logo. I feel very comfortable.”

The logo is being redesigned because of a potential problem with the current design and Warner Brothers Studio’s Bugs Bunny, Crickard said.

She said the committee is currently waiting for the designs but eventually plans to get feedback before making a final decision.

“Once we have several designs, the committee will get feedback from students and alumni through focus groups and an online survey,” she said. “The focus groups and survey have been a planned part of the process from the beginning.”

Representatives of Phoenix Design Works of New York, the design firm hired in late 2006 for $6,000, have visited the campus several times to meet with the committee.

There is no clear idea of when the final logo will be released, Crickard said, but the committee hopes to hear back from the firm in the next few weeks.

“There is no set timeline,” she said.

Alumni create several other options for rabbit

There has been some discussion that the logo redesign may be opened to Fresh Produce, Inc., a Brandon-based advertising firm run by SDSU alumni.

The firm submitted designs early in the process hoping to get a shot at designing the new logo. But they were turned away.

Fresh Produce voluntarily submitted designs sometime last winter, said co-founder Ted Heeren.

“We had been working with a couple offices on campus with marketing and we heard that they would revamp their logo and we took the initiative with some designs,” he said.

Heeren and partner Mike Hart submitted the preliminary designs without any information on the project and before the logo committee had decided on Phoenix Design Works.

Heeren, who thinks the new jackrabbit should look athletic, quick and fast, likes what Phoenix Design Works has come up with.

“I like the idea of making it a more realistic and athletic mark,” he said.

If asked, Heeren said their firm would love to join the logo redesign process.

“It would be a lot of fun,” he said. “We have only heard some of the things from the grapevine – nothing official from anybody,” said.

But Crickard said the committee plans to stay with Phoenix Design Works until the end.

“We have an existing contract that we will honor under the policies and regulations of the State of South Dakota,” she said.

#1.883769:136510323.jpg:rabbit_3 copy.jpg:A proposed design from Brandon-based design firm Fresh Produce.:Fresh Produce#1.883768:3890253901.jpg:rabbit_2 copy.jpg:A proposed design from Brandon-based design firm Fresh Produce.:Fresh Produce#1.883767:215427918.jpg:rabbit_1 copy.jpg:A proposed design from Brandon-based design firm Fresh Produce.:Fresh Produce