By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison Schools are not only getting a new high school, but the district is considering a new look for its logos.
Among the many decisions to be made with the new high school (and the new synthetic turf athletic field at Cruiser Stadium) are the graphics that will be used to adorn the facilities.
“We didn’t want to construct these new facilities and find out afterward that we would have to spend thousands of dollars to change the images because of trademark violations or other issues,” said Jeff Warner, marketing, communications & community relations officer for Groveport Madison Schools.
The district is considering retiring the familiar University of Georgia style “G” logo it has frequently used since the late 1960s.
“There are many variations of our logo and mascot that are currently in use across the district,” said Warner. “We found that some images were publicly available clip art images or unprotected custom designs, some graphics were previously approved for use by the board of education, and some graphics were protected by trademarks that required permission for their use.”
Warner said the Georgia style “G” caused district officials concerns because it has an enforceable trademark held by the University of Georgia.
“We contacted the university to ask for written authorization to use their ‘Georgia G’ logo and we were informed that, because of their trademark and NCAA regulations, they cannot grant us permission to use this graphic,” said Warner. “As a result, we developed parameters from which to create unique and trademarkable graphics for Groveport Madison.”
Other schools have run afoul of using logos that were trademarked by universities and had to change them, such as Jonathan Alder High School, whose use of an “A” logo was considered too similar to the one used by the University of Arizona.
In moving ahead with new logo images, Warner said the district is seeking something unique and readily identifiable.
“We want to brand the school district and the high school with something distinctive so that when you see our logo you know without a doubt it is Groveport Madison,” said Warner.
Warner said the district could use a newly designed image that combines traditional and modern design elements in the center jump circle of the gymnasium at the new Groveport Madison High School. He said design elements consisting of a varsity font, block style “GM” logo, the words “Groveport Madison,” and the district owned image of Cruiser (the school mascot) could be developed and have more consistent usage throughout the district.
“These will not be the only graphics and images we will have available,” said Warner. “We will use the basic design elements to create an array of options for coaches and teams to consider for their use.”
He said the district can create graphics standards and combinations as well as allow some latitude for their use.
“There will be options,” said Warner.
He said a new logo designs seeks to:
•Ensure the Cruiser mascot (either the image or his name) is readily apparent.
•Reflect the entire community by using either “GM” or Groveport Madison in the design.
•Incorporate the board of education approved image of Cruiser.
•Retain a sense of community history using varsity-style fonts for the lettering.
•Ensure individual graphic elements, such as Cruiser or GM, can be used on various mediums (wall/floor graphics, spirit wear, shirts, hats, shorts, etc.) and using various print/sewing technologies.
•Ensure continuity in the high school and district branding.
Warner said the Groveport Madison Board of Education needs to make a decision on the logo and design elements by its July 12 meeting in order to get the logos in place on the new synthetic turf football field at Cruiser Stadium and in the new high school.
At the board’s June 28 work session, the board members indicated they wanted consistency in the use and look of the logo.
Board member Libby Gray said it is important that the design contain the words Groveport Madison or letters “GM,” the word Cruiser, and an image of Cruiser. She said the logo should represent the entirety of the district.
“We need something that visually puts us in a different space from anyone else,” added board member Chris Snyder.
“I want to see something unique and that stands the test of time,” said Board President Bryan Shoemaker, who added he does not like the current district owned graphic image of Cruiser the district is using, “but it’s who we are at this point.”
The board asked Warner to bring more images of the “GM” letter logo using various fonts, as well as other potential logo/graphic options and combinations, to the board’s July 12 meeting for consideration.