A New Look on a School Icon: Possible New Logo for CSU Channel Islands

By Tristan Cassel

*Published in the print edition of The CI View on Nov. 6, 2008

The winds of change are starting to blow through CSUCI. Sometime within the next year, the school is expected to announce the unveiling of a new school logo. The administration has not made any kind of formal announcement, but Channel Islands is a small school and word travels fast.

Since we are unable to display the logo for your viewing pleasure, we must instead describe it to you. The main part of the logo is a circle with a red radial gradient and the letters CSU in white staggered inside. To the right of the circle and in a smaller point size are the words Channels Islands. The font of choice is Gill Sans.

The school has hired an outside consultant, John Ridgeway, to design the logo, and some students have voiced their concerns about the possible costs associated with hiring an outside consultant. The CI View had the opportunity of interviewing California State University Channel Island’s President, Dr. Rush, who was able to provide some insight on the situation.

“He’s [John Ridgeway] doing it pro bono. And of course, he’s a person who has won 17 Emmys. He has branded CBS, NBC, Face the Nation, Meet the Press and Monday Night Football…So in terms of having a resume he is not likely to be challenged by very many people.”

Many students question why the school needs a new logo in the first place, but are open to suggestions if someone can come up with a new concept for the CSUCI logo.

“I don’t really see any problems with the current logo, but if someone can come up with something better, why not?” Said Senior IT major, Chris Lowdermilk.

While some people are open to the idea of a new logo, most did not know that the school was even considering a change.

One of the other aspects of the new design project that seems to bother students the most is that an outside consultant was hired to do the job, even though the campus has in-house designers and a myriad of upper division graphic design classes.

Sophomore Nick Rester said, “Why not let the students take a crack at it?”

Though there are many opinions as to who should be involved in the design process, Senior Katie Halloway, is open to the idea of having Ridgeway work on the logo, “I think that it is exciting that the school would be able to have an individual with that kind of experience work[1]ing on a project as important as our school logo.”

If we take the time to analyze the new logo, it has some interesting features worth noting. For one, it is a simple and clean design, with the red circle supposed to represent that we are the “jewel” of the CSU system. The choice of font is also significant, as it moves away from the traditional serif fonts that Universities typically use, and instead uses a thinner, sans serif font. A serif, for those of us not graphically inclined, are little accents on the edge of letters. Good examples to look at would be fonts such as Times New Roman, or Georgia.

Ridgeway also wanted to emphasize the “CSU” portion of the design rather than the “Channel Islands” portion, because the school feels it is more important.

According to President Rush, the logo is currently in the final stages of development.

“He [Ridgeway] is finishing up some things for me to look at. Then, once I get it, I’ll have a conversation with him, because we’ve gotten as much input as I think we possibly can, so now I have to make a decision,” President Rush said.