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CMC Plans Logo Change

April 6, 2010

Wyatt MacKenzie
CMC Plans Logo Change

Associate Vice President for Public Affairs Richard Rodner has led a project this year to "update CMC's graphic identity." The update would be the first for the College since the 1970s.

The process has been long. Rodner's office began by conducting a survey of alumni and students to evaluate opinions on the College's logo and broader graphic identity. After receiving feedback that was "good, but not great," the administration felt justified proceeding with a formal project to change the logo.

Since then, administrators have worked with a graphic designer specializing in university branding - who has created logos for a number of other schools, including several UCs and liberal arts colleges - to create some 25 sample designs, which were recently shared with students in a series of focus groups.

On the current status of the project, President Gann explained that "senior staff, the alumni board, students, the Board of Trustees and administrative staff have all reviewed dozens of concepts. Nothing has been decided, but a lot of options have been eliminated. The field is greatly narrowing down. People seem to be gathering around a more modern iteration of the globe, the book and the scepter."

Gann also described student reactions as "really positive" and, although she declined to set a deadline, hoped to "conclude the process early summer, or next fall."

A recent student focus group explored several categories of new designs, emphasizing enhancing the current logo, adapting other logos, revising the typography, and creating new ideas.  The results range from the conservative to the comic.  The most popular were those which hewed closest to the current design, either streamlining the globe/book/scepter design or even leaving it unchanged and only updating the font. At the opposite end of the spectrum was an adaptation of the "Campaign for Claremont McKenna" logo, one in which the CMC acronym was used to form a sun rising over mountains, and one rather clearly inspired by the signature logo of the Obama Campaign.

The administration plans to select a few finalists from the current designs and move on to a final decision soon.

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