Image boasts infinite opportunities for academics, arts and athletics
On Tuesday, Aug. 29, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District 196 revealed its new logo at its staff picnic, just in time for the start of school. The district traded out the old logo, featuring an outline of the district’s geographical boundaries, for a fresh and colorful image.
The story of the logo’s development parallels the meaning of the logo itself. The new logo attempts to bring unity to the district. With 34 schools and learning centers, sharing of best practices has become essential. Collaboration, imagination and considering possibilities were key in the logo’s formation.
The district began developing the new logo in the fall of 2016. After interviewing four firms, the communications team chose Peter Hill Design, a Minneapolis-based firm that specializes in branding.
The firm began the logo creation process by looking at the past three community surveys. They also used input from current administrators.
At an administrative meeting, District 196 Communications Director Tony Taschner asked attendees to write three words that described the district on a sheet of paper. He was able to use that information to generate a word map that influenced the creation of the image and the inclusion of words around the logo.
Using this information, the design firm presented six logos to the communications team, which they narrowed to three. The firm met with leaders at the district level, principal groups, advisory council members and the superintendent’s parent leaders’ group. After several meetings and discussions, they selected the new logo.
“We wanted a logo that represents who we are, what is important to our communities and what sets District 196 apart from other districts,” District 196 Superintendent Jane Berenz said. “We believe this logo does all of that.”
The new logo features three interlocking infinity signs, representing the district’s triple-A philosophy of “academics, arts and athletics.” Taschner said it was clear that the new logo needed to include this concept.
“When Apple Valley high school opened in 1976, the leadership that established that school community really invested in the idea lessons learned in the arts and athletics were just as important as lessons learned in the classroom,” Taschner said. “It has always been providing opportunities in all of those areas because students have different interests. That triple-A philosophy kept coming through in the focus group portion of the process.”
The three infinity signs also represent the three largest communities in the district: Rosemount, Apple Valley and Eagan, as well as the three levels education: childhood learning, K-12 education and adult learning.
A new tagline, “one district, infinite possibilities,” accompanies the logo. Taschner said the motto intends to unify the large district and attest to the countless opportunities it provides the community in the areas of academics, arts and athletics.
“As we were doing the focus groups we heard people saying that this is a large district, but it has a small organization feel to it — a connectedness, a community,” Taschner said. “It was the idea that we are large, but we are one district.”
District 196 staff and students saw the logo for the first time at the staff picnic at the end of August. About 50 Eastview High School students came to the event to welcome teachers, assist at the selfie station and give teachers high-fives as they left the picnic.
The logo is only the beginning of several initiatives to unify the district. The district launched a new website, newsletter design and social media campaign at the end of the summer. They encouraged students and families to post pictures of their first day of school on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the #196FirstDay.
Through these small steps, Berenz said the new brand identity aims to bring cohesion to the district.
“District 196 is a large district, the fourth largest in the state,” Berenz said. “One of the goals with our new brand identity is to further unite our many school communities and create a greater awareness of the district as a whole and the outstanding opportunities we provide for students and families. We will be even stronger working together as one to benefit all of our students districtwide,” Berenz said.
Contact Amy Mihelich at [email protected]