BOE holds off on logo decision, Marchman concerned about logo resemblance

The school system will have to wait a little bit longer to lock in their new logo. With Brian Anderson absent, the remaining board members decided to delay their vote, but not before those present put in their two cents.

As presented earlier this month at a BOE work session, Public Relations Specialist Melinda Berry-Dreisbach set out to replace the current logo, which has been in place since 1982. The updated logo is a diamond split in half, with the left side light blue and the right side green. In the middle will be a stylized rising flame.

It would also come with a new tagline of “Where Excellence and Creativity Merge,” replacing the current “Where Excellence Counts.”

Board Chair Scott Hollowell said he was pleased with the outcome of the process.

“The parameters we gave (the design team) was come up with something clean, simple, and modern looking, and I think that’s been delivered on.”

Leonard Presberg said that, while not everyone would love the logo, the new design flows with the system’s mission.

“I think it’s time to do a new logo, and I think the process was good,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s the logo I would have drawn, but it’s what we make of it that’s important.”

Dr. Barry Marchman was on the other side of the debate, hinting that he opposed the logo because it looks like female genitalia.

He is on board with a change, but he did not think this was the right one to make.

“I think it’s certainly time to upgrade our logo. It looks like something from the 1950s,” he said. “I like the branding, but I don’t like the logo.”

He said he polled dozens of people in the last week, some online and some in person, and the results of his polling were definitive.

“Not a single person in my circle of friends was enthusiastic about the logo,” he said. “The most positive response was ‘it’s just a logo, what’s the big deal,’ and honestly, that’s pretty close to my position as well.”

He said his first impression was that the flame could have a religious connotation, and his second was its resemblance to human anatomy.

“I didn’t want to tell you my second impression because I was too embarrassed,” he said. “I was hoping it was just me being a little Freudian in my thinking, but as the week went on, others confirmed my impression when I simply asked ‘what do you think.’

“The logo is very feminine. We’re all about empowering women, and that’s great,” he said, steering clear of details because he said he did not want to be crass. “I don’t know if I could raise my hand to support it because of what it looks like to me.”

While he never expressly said what he saw in the logo, the implication was clear.

“If the Board does choose to approve the new logo, I promise that I won’t tease or complain about it,” he joked. “We can even change the tag line to ‘Fayette County Schools birthing the future’ or whatever you want to change it to.”

Superintendent Dr. Jody Barrow stood behind the logo.

“We’ve been cooking this for a while, we’ve baked it, and we think it’s done,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to move the district forward. We feel like the logo that’s been created by the design team has captured most of that.”

Barrow expressed a desire to approve the logo soon to coincide with the school system’s move into their new office, so that they could order new stationary just once and it would include the new imagery. If approved at the February 4 work session, a soft roll out of the logo would begin right away, with a full roll out by fall semester.

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Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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