Williamson Alumni Association
Association Looks for Logo Roots
The Alumni Association recently formed Visual Identity Standards Committee to help unify the look and feel of Association documents and publication vehicles such as banners, posters and so on. The committee is focused on three goals. The first goal is to complete, present and ratify, by vote, our Visual Identity Standards. The second goal is to deliver a set of template documents to the Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Association Officers for use in the creation of documents and publications. The third goal is to research the history of our Association logo and provide the body with modernization modifications to be implemented next year.
Of course we started with the fun stuff first. Researching the roots of our logo is perhaps the most exciting task in these goals. With the help of Pauline Amalfitano and her research we were granted access to the riches of our school archives. It seems that our logo was originally conceived as a lapel pin. We have no samples or evidence the pin was produced. However, a reunion invitation, circa 1910, shows an embossed logotype clearly designed to easily translate into a cast metal emblem.
Notice the presence of the school colors set on a floating triangle in a larger triangular pediment. Quite a beautify piece, almost opulent for Williamson. Subsequent logotypes attempted to emulate this design with modifications, perhaps to deal with the limitation of printing costs for some documents.
Letterhead logotypes for example appear in black and white (above left), while award documents enjoy the school color (above right). These two examples, circa 1940, maintain the design but the pediment becomes two-dimensional and the inner tri-color triangle is no longer floating. You may also notice a change to the typeface of the “W” character. Beginning around 1960 the logo looses the pediment and takes on a hand-drawn woodcut appearance, with the typeface changing once again. The example below, shown in red, has been produced in blue also.
In 2010 Walt Lee interpreted this example into the current incarnation (above right) by blending it with an embroidered logotype form Association Polo shirts. The current logo was produced in Adobe Illustrator as vector art so we can enlarge or reduce the logo without loosing image quality.