Head in the Game: Logo change flops at Wichita State, BSU may be next

In late September, Wichita State University unveiled the redesign of its logo to the public, and the following week, went back to using the old one.

They felt it was time to revamp school's moniker, the Shockers, when an audit revealed that it had to separate itself from other schools. Identification was needed for Wichita State, something to separate them from other universities such as Washington State, Weber State, Wright State and Wayne State. So the school decided to hire New York-based Phoenix Design Works, the same company Ball State has employed.

The $17,000 deal was intended to give the university a better brand name, and use typefaces and colors that would separate Wichita State from all other schools. Apparently the new Shockers' logo did not sit well with fans.

The new logo had more defined stalks of wheat, in front of a shield with the Shockers' name below. The logo was made public Sept. 16.

On Sept. 23, Wichita State athletics director Jim Schaus made an announcement.

Schaus said, "After reviewing the feedback from those outside our process, I feel it is in the best interest of the athletic department to go a different direction with our revised wheat logo design."

Will Ball State face this same fate?

Phoenix Design Works has done many other colleges previous to Wichita State. Some of the school logos it has designed are those of Louisiana State, Illinois, Arkansas and Harvard, just to name a few. Phoenix has done work for professional teams and companies as well.

Vice President of University Advancement Don Park said that when the current Cardinal head was unveiled, alumni said they would not wear it. Now we find ourselves questioning how we could do away with the Cardinal head.

"We value our fan's opinion a great deal," Schaus said. "We are going to take a step back at this point and evaluate our future direction. We still desire to promote Wichita State Shockers in a logo and wish to pursue this approach further, while still maintaining our long-standing WSU Shock logo."

After a week, $17,000 went to waste because a program was scared of losing revenue. It wasn't because they respected the fans' views. Ball State finds itself in the same position as well.

So many decisions are going into the creation of a new Ball State logo. Some of the examples I saw had several minor details in which a group of people can argue about for hours.

People argue on the color of the feet of a Cardinal. When this question was brought to the committee, Phoenix design sent many pictures of actual cardinals.

The committee has debated on the the Cardinal's tail feathers, the angle they should be at and whether they should be pointed or rounded.

Should the Cardinal be swooping, or should it be landing? What kind of expression should the Cardinal have? Should the Cardinal have a stogie in its mouth? All questions the committee has debated about, with the exception of the stogie.

Wichita State jumped the gun a bit after one week of having a new logo. They should have stuck it out and the logo probably would have grown on the fans. I'm sure a lot of Ball State students and alumni will hate the new logo when it's made public, but like last time, it will become a fixture on this campus.

Write to Chris at cjmihal@bsu.edu


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