Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Everything Idiotic

634 words

After a bit of a cold and thus quite a painful afternoon in underheated seminar rooms, I found an e-mail by my mum telling me that my former school is planning to re-design their logo. To begin with let me make clear that my opinion of the school isn’t the highest. I did have a couple of rather good teachers, but interestingly those used to be the ones least in line with school policies. Go figure. But in the end, teaching-wise, they probably aren’t better or worse than other schools in the region.

The main difference seems to be that the school is located in a rich ghetto and attracts a matching audience. Things like playing hockey or golf, buying branded clothes or getting a poncy car when you turn eighteen used to be big topics. And I’ve always found it hard to relate to that. So 90% of the people there are people you wouldn’t want to meet. But of course the whole poncyness has advantages as well. Like, erm, say, hmmm, the fact that the walls and toilets aren’t decorated with graffitis and stuff. It all looks very peaceful. And at least from parents’ point of view that must be a good thing.

Anyway, that bastion of mediocrity now decided they need a new logo. And while this school is probably one that’s dangerously close to selling the ‘goods’, I find it hard to understand why a school needs a logo to begin with, let alone a new one. Probably a side-effect of too many parents being too involved in business, marketing, consulting type things. So, in fact someone has come up with a diarrhea of slides ‘proving’, as they call it, which roughly translates to ‘stating’ in my language, that the school ‘needs’ a new logo.

Those ‘professional’ slides filled with a logo and a somewhat imperfect scribble on each page, seem to have been created with OpenOffice. I leave it to the reader to decide whether that’s a good or a bad thing. And, another good point, they are using proper Helvetica. Not a font I like but better than its common ugly cousin, I’d say.

On the slides they outline how the logos of other schools have kept up with the Zeitgeist and how the school’s current logo looks totally out-of-date now. But to be honest, most of those ‘logos’ look, erm, sub-standard, and I was tempted to say that the school’s old logo compared quite favourably:

Logos of different schools in Bremen

Now sit down and swallow your coffee before looking at the suggestion for an all new logo:

old logo, new logo

I mean that’s an extremely bad joke, right? To me it looks completely unbalanced and ever so consciously vivid and huggable. As if anybody still needed that after the .com days. Sure, the primary school-age look may match the quality of their services but they claim that you can go to university after leaving them. Is is appropriate to choose a lighter shade of blue to look childish rather than conservative when conservative is exactly what the institution is?

At this place, let me mention that whoever did those logos must have changed them from the originals. Back in the early 1990s I was involved – as in I did – the school’s yearbook. And in those days I didn’t know about PageMaker or even RagTime, so the whole thing was done in LaTeX. And to have the logo in there, I used Metafont. I was probably the only non-trivial character I’ve ever done in Metafont. And I’m pretty sure that the logo didn’t have a non-horizontal top line and loads of non-parallel lines in it back in those days.

Eek, I’m rambling again where I shouldn’t care. And I shouldn’t aim at those targets. It’s like making fun of pensioners. Too easy to be fun.

December 15, 2005, 0:41

Tagged as helvetica.

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