This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Note on the Beverly Tea Party

(better known as the High School Logo controversy).

This seems to be taking on all the trappings of a mini media circus. The story made FOX25 tonight, but with the completely bogus angle "Beverly High School is considering the idea of having two mascots for the school, one for the athletes and one for the students."

The ship was never going to be a mascot for the school.

The Salem News covered the controversy here, two days after starting the controversy here.

One note of disclosure: In addition to being the primary author of this blog, I also run a graphic design business, and it was in that role that I was brought in over a year ago to consult on the logo, and ultimately commission and art direct the actual drawing of the Hannah schooner.

The description on the sample page of my business website summarizes the development process once I became involved in the project. I'm not sure what went on before that, as the discussions of concept seem to date back more than two years, but by the time I became involved there were never any discussions of a simple panther or panther paw.

The broader concept of "a ship sitting on a book, sailing into the future," as described by former School Committee President Nancy Brusil in yesterday's paper, was ultimately simplified to just the ship because of the concerns about how to create something that would look futurist now, but not end up looking very dated in 20 years. A second concept showing various symbols of education seemed to lack any connection to the city or the school.

With this in mind, and the realization that we were creating something to be cast out of concrete, and last for 50 years or more, it was decided that an illustration of the ship that had so much connection to Beverly's history, although not high-concept, would be the most enduring symbol to grace the school's main entrance for the life of the building.

From a design standpoint, a well-illustrated panther logo could have worked just as well, but it was just never a point in our discussions, having seemingly been eliminated from consideration much earlier.

2/19 UPDATE: Today's Salem News has more on the long development process of the logo, and the protest. The topic will be discussed again at Wednesday night's school committee meeting.

3/24 UPDATE: Today's Salem News shows off the revamped panther logo that we developed.

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