The Facebook logo features a “B” on a light blue shield set on a darker blue circle. The post received 861 comments along with a statement from the college’s President Stephen Briggs posted last week.
In his comment he thanks the Berry community for still being passionate about the college and apologized for releasing the logo without context or strategy. The logo is meant to be an update and combines several elements of Berry’s heritage Briggs said.
The “B” is styled after the hand carved “B” found on the Ford buildings. The shield is also found on the Ford buildings and is a part of the college’s seal. The blues are off-set, which was inspired by the Ford reflecting pools.
Briggs went on to say in his comment that students, alumni, faculty, staff and board members were focus-grouped as a part of the branding process, and their reactions were positive when they saw the logo in context. He added alumni will be given the chance to learn more about the rebranding process in early January. He concluded his post by asking for the Berry community to give the college a second chance to reintroduce the logo along with context and strategy.
Around the time Briggs comment was posted on Facebook, change.org petitions was launched by an unnamed individual who is requesting Berry College change the logo and bring back its old one. The petition currently has garnered over 3,000 signatures in a week, which is well over the halfway mark to its goal of 5,000.
A more recent statement from Berry announced the new logo will be introduced on the website and in print materials over the next few months. The new logo is meant to compliment, not replace the Berry seal, it said. Another statement from Briggs was also included in the statement.
“In changing our logo, we regret not paying sufficient attention to how it should be introduced and used as an abbreviated mark for social media,” Briggs said. “As a result, there is understandable confusion about what is being replaced and the color palette available with the new mark. The new heritage logo replaces the ‘experience it firsthand’ and block Berry logo.”
Jonathan Purser, president of the Berry Alumni Council, said he thinks it is wise for an organization to rebrand itself every now and then in order to stay relevant to the audiences they are trying to reach.
“Folks have every right to be passionate about an institution they love,” he said.
Purser said he understands people are divided over this issue, mentioning he had dinner with a friend recently who disliked the logo, but feels there has been a misunderstanding. Purser said he saw a presentation of the rebranding in the spring and fall and honestly believes the college is just rebranding to stay relevant. He feels if the introduction had been handled a little better there would not be as much opposition.
When signing the petition signers were able to express why they disliked the logo. Here are a few of complaints from the Return the Berry College Logo to its Previous State petition:
“As a Third Generation Berry Alumni, our family recognizes the Tradition and Legacy of our Berry heritage. Cartoon logos are fine for some of the sports programs, but for a school that is referred to by many as a Southern Ivy League school, we should stick with our traditional Logo,” Eric Kines wrote.
“I love Berry College and feel this logo looks cheap and cartoonish. The color combination is unsettling,” Meaghan Walters wrote.
“This logo does not represent Berry,” Fran Myers wrote.