It’s a little ridiculous that the University of North Dakota is going to the east coast for a firm to design new logos to go along with the new (and not very well liked) “Fighting Hawks” nickname.
“Phoenix Design Works, SME Inc. and Summit Athletics Media will be invited to present to the university’s Graphic Identity RFP Evaluation and Recommendation Team on Monday or Tuesday on campus,” Brandi Jewett reported earlier this week.
“The three selected firms would come to UND from the East Coast, as they are located in New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.”
That seems unnecessary.
First, there should be no hurry to rush into a new logo for the university. With the wounds from the decades-long fight over the old “Fighting Sioux” logo and nickname still fresh, a cooling off period seems appropriate. There’s nothing wrong with moving to a new logo gradually.
Second, why go through the expense of hiring one of these firms? Because it is sure to be expensive. I doubt that east coast firms are interested in bidding on a North Dakota project because of its modest costs. Nor would they be interested paying their own freight to the state to win the bid. “The companies are responsible for their own travel costs,” Jewett reports.
So with the University of North Dakota facing a $5 million budget short fall sure to be exacerbated by impending cuts in state funding, why not give the assignment to the University of North Dakota’s own students? Judging by UND’s website, they have a fine art design program.
“The University of North Dakota’s Department of Art & Design plays a vital role in the cultural climate of its vicinity,” the website for the Department of Art & Design reads. “We are the largest and most complete art and design department within this upper plains region outside Minneapolis—as well as the only art and design department within the geographical area of North Dakota and South Central Canada offering the terminal degree (M.F.A) in studio art. As such, we have a particularly strong commitment to artistic productivity and all of our art and design program areas encourage students to think creatively as visual artists as they explore and develop images in ethical and diverse ways.”
Sounds promising, doesn’t it? And if the goal here is to win over a skeptical public to a new logo, what better way than to consider logos made by actual UND students?
Not only would this cost less, and not only would it be a wonderful experience for the students, it would probably produce a more salubrious outcome for all involved.