By Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Madison Board of Education could not reach a consensus on July 12 regarding a decision on a new “GM” logo for the district.
A decision must be made soon so the new logo can be placed on the new synthetic turf athletic field at Cruiser Stadium, which is currently being installed in the stadium. The board plans to meet again soon in the coming days to make a final decision on the logo so it can be placed on the new synthetic turf field in time for the coming athletic season.
At its July 12 meeting, the board reviewed about a dozen fonts for the “GM” logo prepared by a graphics design firm and presented by district administrative staff, but none of the ideas resonated with the entire board.
“We need something original,” said Board President Bryan Shoemaker. “We need something that distinguishes us from other schools. None of these examples are something everyone can buy into and say, ‘That’s it!’”
Added board member Libby Gray, “It’s clear the board is not confident in these choices. If we’re not 100 percent behind it we shouldn’t make a decision yet.”
Groveport Madison Athletic Director Steve Petros said the new “GM” logo should be a simple design that is not busy looking. He said it needs to be a logo that can fit a variety of situations and uniforms and also be able to be clearly identified from far away.
Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover said that, whatever logo font the board selects, it will be used throughout the district.
The district will retire 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,” Jeff Warner, Groveport Madison communications officer stated previously. “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 addition to a new “GM” logo, Warner said red and black design elements consisting of the words “Groveport Madison,” and the district owned image of Cruiser (the school mascot) will be developed and have more consistent usage throughout the district.
Warner said the district can create graphics standards and combinations as well as allow some latitude for their use.
He said new logo designs seek 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.
New scoreboard approved
The board approved replacing the 20-year-old scoreboard at Groveport Madison High School’s Cruiser Stadium with a refurbished, 14 x 48 foot, state-of-the-art, Daktronics video scoreboard. The new $64,000 scoreboard will have animation and video capabilities, as well as advertising opportunities.
According to Groveport Madison Treasurer John Walsh, with additional costs for installation and wiring added in, the total cost for the new scoreboard will be between $80,000 to $85,000.
District officials said the existing scoreboard needed to be replaced because it has “operational issues.”
Walsh said the district has $20,000 to $25,000 available in its permanent improvement fund to contribute to the purchase of the new scoreboard.
However, he added the district has also actively solicited financial donations to fund the new scoreboard from community donors. So far, Walsh said eight financial donors have committed a total of $50,000 to the district for the scoreboard.
“We are continuing to solicit funding from more donors,” said Walsh.