Local alumnus wants Jack to be local project

Ken Curley

Ken Curley

In case you hadn’t heard, they’re going to remodel Jack, the jackrabbit mascot of SDSU. Too dated, some folks figured, so they hired a New York design firm to create a new Jack – never mind that their artists had never seen a jackrabbit and had to be driven out into the Dakota countryside to view one.

The committee for the logo overhaul, meeting behind closed doors, was to have produced a new and improved Jack by now, but things might not be all carrots and turnips in Logoland.

The Collegian, SDSU’s campus newspaper, leaked a picture of one of the latest proposals in its Jan. 31 edition. Reaction could not be characterized as favorable. This week, The Collegian reports, the logo committee is rethinking the design and may, in fact, ask for more drawings from Phoenix Design Works of NYC.

As a “sometime student” at SDSU, but an always-interested observer, my vote goes to the current Jack – he’s a ‘toon with ‘tude, yaknowwhudamean?

But codger though I am, I’m aware that times change, and a new, fresh interpretation of the Brookings hare might be called for. You want a more realistic-looking mascot, one less cartoonish. However, if your logo committee opts for that weenie-looking bunny depicted in the Jan. 31 Collegian, they’re making a serious mistake. Two reasons: First, he’s a wuss of a wabbit; second, the design is completely wrong for a university logo.

Do you want SDSU’s collegiate teams referred to as “the bunnies” forevermore? Adopt the cutesy logo that appeared in last week’s paper. Actually, it looks more like a kitty than the baby bunny the artist was apparently striving for. It is a sissy Jack.

I don’t fault the East Coast designers – the only live animals they get to see out there are pigeons and sewer rats. But the logo committee should know better than to put forward this jackrabbit imposter. No doubt some of them have actually seen a jackrabbit, if only a dead one tossed onto the Frost Arena floor.

And committee members: Doing your work out of the glare of the public eye is fine – to a point. SDSU Sports Marketing may own the Jack logo, but every alumnus, every resident in the Brookings area, feels a little pride of ownership in Jack. It’s awfully poor public relations to create a new image in secret and then simply dump it on the unsuspecting fans: “Like it or not, here it is!”

I know there are world-class artists and graphic designers on SDSU’s faculty and staff. I can’t believe they weren’t consulted or made a part of the logo design process. There’s still time to remedy that. Bag the bunny, pay off your New York design firm and head back to the drawing board right here in Jackrabbit Land.