So. Cornell has a new identity and you’ve all done your homework and downloaded the guidelines.
Many folks have expressed disappointment (to put it mildly) about the fact that the logo must include the insignia and the logotype (Cornell University). At the risk of revealing my psychic abilities and opening myself up to giving readings in the break room, I feel compelled to say “I knew that was going to happen”.
I will say, however, that I think it should be possible to use just the emblem w/o the words “Cornell University” because of the above mentioned size issues and because “Cornell University” is already around the emblem itself (hence there is no question as to what the emblem represents).
The reason the guidelines request that the logotype always be included is because alone, the insignia is not bold enough to clearly say CORNELL to the casual viewer. Look at the home page, for example.
I have a 22″ panel display set at 1680X1050. It?s a nice, crisp, beautiful monitor. I do wear contacts, but my eyes are young and it’s only 9am, so they’re still fresh. I look at the logo and the words “Cornell University” inside of the circle and they are slightly blurred. Now, I know what it says, so I know it’s Cornell we?re talking about. But think about the random person who comes into the university web-space somewhere in the middle of things and sees a 60 pixel insignia amidst the rest of graphical elements on a page. Is it going to be absolutely clear to them that they are at Cornell?
Now, sure, you could make the argument that if the guidelines allow the separation of the two and require the 85 pixel size, the words will be crystal clear for all to see. Yep, they would. And then other web developers on campus will be upset that we’re telling them they have to stick this 85 pixel box onto their page. You can’t please everyone. Or we can’t, anyway.
Sixty is too small to be used alone. 85 is too big to require people to use it. 70 or 75, contrary to what you might think, does not make for a happy medium. Just trust me on that one. Better yet, trust Will. He’s good at what he does.
The fact that the logo must be used in it’s full length is going to be the cause of a great deal of redesign. If the logo were just the insignia without the logotype I would replace all of my old Cornell logos today. Having to incorporate something more than three times the length of the original over numerous sites is going to take a great deal of time an effort.
Yes. We know it’s going to require retrofitting and redesign. And we’re not putting a deadline on that. It’s going to take time and money for people to incorporate the new logo into their sites. We know this. There is no deadline.
And we’re willing to help. The OWC will gladly consult with anyone who wants to talk about how to work the new logo into their site. We’ll even bring in the big guns in the form of WPG designers to help suggest the best possible methods. We can’t do the work for you (or pay for it, unfortunately), but we can help you figure out how to best do it yourselves. And, again, there is no deadline. No one expects Engineering or CALS–both of whom just put a lot of effort and cash into redesign–to throw that effort out the window and start over because of the timing of things. No one expects ANY site to do that, for that matter.
It’s possible that we can help you come up with an interim solution (you’d be surprised, I bet, at how nice the banner looks when added to existing sites) while you settle in for the long haul on your next redesign.
Sue also says:
I’m also particularly struck by the following rule: “No other logos are allowed except in a footer at the bottom of the page.” Wow. This wouldn’t be half as irksome if this weren’t in direct contradiction to what we heard in several meetings about the logo issue this past summer.
I can’t really speak to what was or what not said at meetings held over the summer. I don’t, personally, recall being told anything about unit logos in relation to the new one–but that doesn’t mean that statements were not made.
Look, this is not about taking away individual identity. It is about establishing common identity.
Yes, you are the Department of X. But you are also Cornell.
Again, think of that user who comes into the web space in the middle. She types “physics of falling paper” into Google and finds a URL for a page about the study that Wang and Pesavento have put up. Who are these people? She wonders. How do I know they know what they’re talking about? Ahh. Look at that beautiful logo at the top of the page. They’re CORNELL. I know Cornell. Cornell is an Ivy. Cornell is legit. Those folks at Cornell knows what they’re doing.
It’s a good thing. Let the university elevate your status. Let it give something back to you in exchange for all you give to it.
And feel perfectly free to put “Department of X” in 72 point bold-faced type under the 65 pixel banner.
Just don’t make it blink. That’s tacky.
Evan is concerned about the political correctness of the use of AD in the logo. I knew this one was coming, too.
As a former student of Anthropology, I am well aware of the fact that canon is moving toward the use of BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era). As people who are surrounded by academia every day, it seems likely that many others at Cornell are as well. The question is, does that girl who looked up falling paper know what CE means? Does she care, for that matter, that AD implies a Judeo-Christian mindset? Does it even occur to her that this bit of linguistic convention might be out-dated? Or, really, does she just want to know about falling paper?
I can’t answer any of those questions.
I can tell you that, for a while, the insignia said “Founded in 1865″ and was then changed to “Founded AD 1865″. I’m not sure why. No one asked me for my opinion. If you like, though, I can ask VP Bruce about the choice and report back.
Dave B says:
In the IJ article, is a quote:
?We ended up writing a history booklet of Cornell marks,?
Such a history would make an interesting read and be great to see released in some form or other (maybe a history web page).
You know, I really need my own 1-900 number to start a Psychic Hotline. Because I began the process of getting this history into MY head last week with the intent of sharing it with you guys. Keep your eyes peeled.
Finally, many of you are happy to see that the “Any person, any study” slogan was removed for the launch of the logo. It’s coming back next week when we return to the regular rotation. I know you guys don’t like it. You should know that it’s here to stay. To quote Sir Jagger “You can’t always get what you want.” Cope.
But keep pushing back and chewing on the logo guidelines. Conversations go both ways.