By Craig BurtonAugust 23, 2016
I was looking through my archives and came across this logo and branding proposal that I created for Ashburton College back in 2011. Even though it didn't proceed I felt the design had a timeless nature about it which I thought was worthy of sharing. Five years on and the logo looks as fresh today as it did back then.
What do I mean by the logo having a timeless nature? It wasn't designed as part of a current fad or trend in the design industry back in 2011. Flat design is an example of a current trend. When I designed the logo I looked at the unique characteristics of Ashburton College (important features, traditions, philosophies, beliefs, and feelings) and created a logo style based on those. That ground work, in making sure I understood what was important to the school, laid the foundation for a logo solution that could withstand the test of time and not feel dated after only one or two years.
THE LOGO PROPOSAL
Ashburton College was formed after Ashburton High School and Hakatere College amalgamated in 1965. Their existing logo is a phoenix arising out of the ashes which represented the new school formed from the merger. The logo proposal was building on this existing metaphor while, at the same time, incorporating their vision based on the "Three Pillars of Excellence"- Ashburton College's founding principles for learning.
THE LOGO MEANING
The following describes what each element in the logo represents.
The phoenix is represented rising from the flames from where it originated. As it rises its outstretched wings and appearance imply strength, pride, and nobleness of character. Both the flames and the phoenix are inseparable from each other. For it is from the flames that the phoenix has life. So too it is from the challenges and opportunities provided for students at Ashburton College that students learn to become model citizens in the community.
The Three Pillars
The Three Pillars of Excellence as described in the Vision Statement are Exceptional Learning, Exemplary Citizenship, and Exciting Opportunities. They form the foundation upon the which the learning environment is built and therefore sit at the base of the logo.
The latin motto for the school meaning “to go, or move, forward”. I have placed this above the three pillars on purpose.
The Sun Burst
The rays of the sun behind the phoenix at its head emphasise its importance as it rises from the flames.
The logo was created in the school colours - red and blue with the emphasis on the blue. Red was used sparingly (the flames and the shield outline).
The Overall Logo
This proposal ties the school name, the motto, the phoenix, the flames, and the three pillars together as one cohesive unit. The meaning behind the logo can be clearly explained in relation to where the school came from and the aspirations it has for their students' education. The logo has a classical formal appearance and conveys qualities of strength, pride, tradition, and professionalism.
BRAND IDENTITY PROPOSAL
Following on from the creation of the logo design was how it could be adapted to different situations like stationery, signage, the school house colours, and advertising.
When thinking about your school logo, it's good to be aware of design trends. There are plenty out there. Most importantly though is understanding what it is that you're trying to convey with your school logo and being true to that mission FIRST. The form will follow.