[Coral-List] (ISRS) Logo Competition

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Wed Nov 11 11:35:32 EST 2015

It seems that every organization eventually reaches a point where 
members decide it is time to change the Logo.Have any readers 
experienced logoitis? Back in the 1970s I was involved in changing the 
Logo of the Houston Underwater Club. I used the history of the Shell Oil 
Company logo as a model for how to bring about change. Originally the 
Pectin (the Genus of the shell used as the company symbol) had many rays 
and looked like an accurate illustration from a shell guide. However, in 
stages the numbers of rays in the shell were gradually reduced leading 
to the present highly stylized design. The lesson learned was that logos 
invariably evolve toward simplicity. So we changed the Club logo from a 
diver symbolically diving under the Astrodome (I argued that it looked 
too much like the New Orleans superdome) to a stylized angelfish that 
was also the logo for our annual underwater film festival. (It worked 
but ironically the Club eventually went back to the original design). I 
learned a lesson from that experience. So, when we organized the Third 
International Coral Reef Meeting in Miami in 1977, research on coral 
growth banding was a hot topic and still in its infancy. For that 
meeting we designed a logo that was a cross section view of a small 
coral head with three distinct growth rings. We hoped at the time that 
the design would stick and a new growth ring could be added every 4 
years to honor each new meeting. As readers know we ended up with an 
attractive fish swimming in front of a tube sponge. I can only wonder 
what may be next.

Another logo change example: I have been a member of SEPM for close to 
40 years. SEPM originally stood for “Society of Economic Paleontologists 
and Mineralogists.”However, the society evolved into mainly a 
Sedimentology Society with close ties to AAPG (American Association of 
Petroleum Geologists). Oil is created in, and extracted from, 
sedimentary rocks so there were good economic reasons to understand 
sedimentology geology. Starting in the 1980s the society decided to 
rename itself and of course there was a completion. “Society for 
Sedimentology Geology” became the new title. It was a long struggle. The 
new logo depicts simplified inclined sedimentary bedding planes, and a 
stylized mineral and a gastropod. To maintain some continuity the logo 
still displays the letters “SEPM.” Most new young members probably have 
no idea what SEPM originally stood for.Another example: The Underwater 
Society of America gives an annual award called a NOGI (it resembles the 
OSCAR award given for the best movies). Recipients of the NOGI for the 
most part are unaware that the letters stand for “New Orleans Grand 
Isle,” which was a famous spearfishing competition conducted under 
offshore oilrigs in the 1950s.I suppose the lesson here is that 
organizations evolve and at some point key individuals decide it is time 
to change the Logo to match their newest activity. After reading the 
guidelines for our proposed new logo I had to wonder how all that 
information could be visually incorporated in a simple modern logo 
without becoming excessively cluttered. Maybe it will have a printed 
guide on the back to explain what everything means. Good luck to whoever 
comes up with the winning design.Just keep in mind that 30-years from 
now someone may decide its time for a change. Maybe it will include 
solar panels or windmills and dead corals----or could it be a Nuclear 
Power plant? As the late Yogi Berra said, “the future ain’t what it used 
to be.” Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158
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