Pomona Considers Adopting New Logo

The Pomona College Board of Trustees will discuss changing the college’s mark to one based on Pomona’s 125th anniversary logo, an idea proposed by the College Logo Advisory Group. The possibility of creating a new mark for the college has been discussed for years, said Mark Wood, Senior Director of Communications at Pomona.

“The 125th anniversary served as a good ‘road test’ for the new mark,” Wood said. “We printed it on a lot of materials and tried to observe what the community’s general reaction to the mark was.”

Wood said that when the advisory group for the development of a mark for the 125th anniversary formed, discussions regarding the college’s mark had come to the forefront, as an alumnus reached out to President David Oxtoby offering to fund an official herald to create a coat of arms. This coat of arms could be used as a “heraldry” graphic, replacing the old mark.

“Students, faculty and members of the community had expressed concerns in the past,” Wood said. “Often, the word ‘corporate’ was thrown around to describe the current mark.”

Wood said that a large amount of the negative feedback regarding the current mark comes from Pomona seniors, who struggle with deciding what mark to print on their official diploma. Students are given the choice between the current mark and the Founder’s Seal, which includes the words “Our tribute to Christian civilization,” the motto adopted early in Pomona’s history.

Wood said that there are some students who do not adhere to Christian faith but feel that the Founder’s Seal appears more professional than the current mark and opt to use it on their diplomas. However, other seniors appreciate the familiarity and simplicity of the current mark.

“Maybe it’s just because we haven’t known anything else, but it’s hard to imagine Pomona having any other logo,” Hirut Mamo PO ’13 said.

The current mark, created in 1988, was originally intended to be used in small formats and printed in color, due to its thick outer boarder and multitude of colors. Thus, Pomona letterheads generally require multi-color printing, and often a simple word-mark is used instead, Wood said.

Originally, the goal of the advisory committee, formed in the fall of 2011, was only related to the 125th anniversary, not the creation of a mark for the school as a whole, but Wood said that input from students is always welcome.

“If I could do it again, I would have involved students sooner,” Wood said.

The new proposed mark, which Wood designed, uses just two colors and combines the shape of Pomona’s Founder’s Seal and the graphic element of the 1987 Centennial Logo to create a mark that not only has a professional look but also draws on the college’s history, he said.

“We have received lots of great feedback, in favor of and opposed to the new mark,” Wood said.

In December, the Board of Trustees will discuss only the current proposal and vote on it at a later meeting. They could decide neither to accept nor to reject it, but instead to send the design back to the committee for revision.

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