37 thoughts on “Meet the New Logo: Williston’s Look Gets a Makeover”

  1. I hate the new look. The logo has a very poor representation of Northampton. The WN letter form loses the “N” completely. Why couldn’t the W and N be used in a way that makes both distinctly visable and recognizable?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Laurel. We’re sorry you feel that way, but we appreciate you sharing your views with us.

  2. I just hope that the new “modern” logo does not overshadow the original WNS seal. As a classic New England Prep School it is important to stay true to the traditions that have ruled our school for over 150 years — Rebranding simply to meet the needs of a more modern time may not be the answer, and may take away from Williston’s old New England Prep School appeal….

    1. Agreed! Much prefer the classic logo, which was unique, recognizable, and historical. The new logo is basically just typeface, something you could create on Microsoft Word. It may work for sports, but does not reflect the history traditions of the schools (Williston Academy, Northampton School for Girls, and now WNS). Rebranding for the sake of rebranding, without a specific reason for doing so, and a unique sense of perspective does not reflect well on the school, in my opinion.

  3. Not a fan at ALL of the new look. It strikes me as contrived, excessively corporate, and tacky, in general. I’m also dismayed that this is the first time I hear about it. Why not have several options and then engage the ENTIRE alumni association through Facebook, Newsletters and The Bulletin? After all, the logo is a badge that we all are supposed to wear with pride. Rather than feeling included and proud, I feel left out of an important process, and now certainly wouldn’t wear anything with this new logo. I’m utterly disappointed and hope you’ll rectify this soon.

    Jan Christiansen ’98

    1. We’re sorry you feel so opposed to the new design, Jan. Although we spent several months conducting focus groups with alumni, parents, students, trustees, and faculty, unfortunately not every decision can ultimately be a purely collaborative process. Over the next month, though, we’ll be unveiling several new potential options for the Williston Wildcat. We hope you’ll return once those go up to vote on the designs and contribute your input.

      1. I agree with Jan.
        I am disturbed by the lack of real community input. I sense an administrative precedent being set — last year’s schedule fiasco is a good example. It seems to be the administrative thing to do now to seek approval later, after decisions have already been made, rather than having the community working as a unit. While I understand that collaboration is not always efficient, I think it should be part of the process for something like this.

        Why was this not put to a student vote? Where was the tangible collaboration, or even updates? It seems like something like the rebranding of the school should have had input beyond select focus groups. Why not involve everyone?

          1. Design by committee never works. Never. If Williston had received feedback from everyone, and then tried to satisfy them all, nothing ever would’ve gotten done.

            I’m a Williston grad. I think this is a valiant effort. Could it be better? I guess so. But it looks modern and smart. I think it looks great.

            Don’t bow to their pressure, Williston. Stand strong.

            “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would’ve said faster horses.” – Henry Ford

  4. I really don’t like the new look… I think the new logo doesn’t really represent Williston when the old logo did. When you saw the old one, you would think of Williston right away, but with the new logo it doesn’t remind you of Williston AT ALL.

  5. A monogram inside a shield is certainly preppy. The 1841 date asserts the school’s place in history, and the classic green and blue colors are both historic and good looking. I like the strong, bold typeface: it says “leader,” “up-to-date,” and “forward looking.” That’s the kind of education I want for my children. Bravo!
    P’14 P’18

  6. I really don’t like the new look. If we were to change the look completely and see how people respond to it. I also think that we should have a few new designs oppsed to just one.

  7. To think that Williston is changing the logo to stay on trend and up to date is truly depressing. The former logo was visually appealing, traditional, classy, not “messy”, historical, and it brings back all the wonderful memories made there. As a recent alum, the new logo leaves me feeling disconnected from the school. Yes, I agree it does scream contemporary, but I feel that it in no way ties us to our traditional roots. The change completely disregards Willistons history especially by loosing the “The”, which, ties in Northampton to the name. And if anything, what this really screams is “trying too hard.”
    Better luck next time.

  8. I agree with Paula C :
    I too “I like the strong, bold typeface: it says “leader,” “up-to-date,” and “forward looking.”

  9. I think we can all agree that a “W” with a line through it and a shield around it makes you think of “a diverse, open, healthy culture; an exceptional location; a balanced, robust program; and a student-centered community.” I’m sure all the students and donors are glad that their money went towards the creation of this masterpiece.

    Are you sure the gasps from the Board of Trustees were that of awe and not disgust? History will not be kind to this.

  10. Honestly, I don’t see the point of abandoning a classic logo for the school and going with a “W” that could be Westminster or anywhere else to the untrained eye. If other institutions of higher learning keep their seals, why do we need to re-brand and repackage? It’s really a shame.

  11. Change is a hard thing. But I guess we shouldn’t undertake anything new if there’s a chance people won’t like it…

    People. I attended a high school with one of the oldest rivalries on the continent. If someone told me tomorrow that they changed the seal, or the logo, the mascot, or the ‘brand image’ I would say “huh, they probably figured it was time for an overhaul.”

    The backlash on all of this is deplorable, and speaks to the narcissism that we current members of Williston’s community strive to combat in our students. The facebook generation is taught to look out for number one – too bad the idea has spread.

    I’m as romantic and sentimental as the next person about the good old days, but realize that it shouldn’t come at the expense of progress. These decisions were obviously the result of months of research, and clearly make an effort to retain the essential Willistonian character while allowing for a fresh perspective.

    If you went to Williston and love Williston, try to get on board. Get involved and find positive ways to stay connected. Williston is still a remarkable community.

    1. I agree that change is a hard thing for people, anytime, and anytime there is a change made there will always be some who are not pleased. I also agree with others that there is no possible way that the design process could be subjected to a vote or any type of public forum. That would be a waste of time. But in putting the new logo on Facebook the school, basically opened a public forum for opinions to be voiced.

      I think what the Alumni body is asking for is merely a reconsideration of some of the design elements. On Facebook many of the Northampton School for Girls graduates are dismayed that the “Northampton” aspects of the design seem to be so overshadowed by the “Williston” aspects of the design. To be honest, I have to agree. As a recent female Alum I had no real connection to NSFG (which in itself I think should change a bit), but I did appreciate that I was able to get my education at the Williston Northampton School because of the merger, and the girls (women) that were a part of NSFG. I love the new, updated tree logo, as well as the new, branded Williston Northampton Green and Blue. I just urge you as an Administration to consider showcasing the school’s history at the forefront, because a community is created on top of the past.

      I love to visit campus, watch the plays and athletic games, sit in on classes, and still contribute to the community that I love. A “remarkable community” should not just be the people on campus, that community should also be extended to include the grads who still care deeply about the school and its history. Williston Northampton is a vibrant, productive, and remarkable community. As an Alumna, I am thankful for the transformation that has taken place in the years since my graduation, but I ask that this new rebranding be put under a microscope, and that some of the suggestions of my fellow Alumni are heard. I also urge the Alumni body to keep a level head about this change. Please offer constructive critiques or praise for the new logo. Be the people that your school taught you to be.

      Sarah McCullagh ’10

    2. My love and pride for Williston, and what it stands for is exactly why I won’t “Get on board”. The new logo is bland and does not represent the rich history of our school. I’m proud that my fellow alumni feel strongly enough about the subject to voice their opinions. Go ahead and write it off as narcissism, it only proves how off base your view of the situation is.

      John Polizzi ’99

    3. narcissism? Really? Its actually not an intelligent decision from a marketing perspective, you think creating a new logo is going to capture how you feel as a community? Is Williston in fact being overhauled? Wonderful, I will stop donating.

      1. If you care enough to be commenting on here, you probably should be donating. As I wrote before I have some issues with the design, but I will not stop donating because of a simple drawing on paper, or changes to BETTER the education of current students. Reevaluate what you just said please, and come back with a more level head.

    4. You’re right, “newbie”, change is hard, and we shouldn’t undertake anything new if there’s a chance people won’t like it. Because that’s EXACTLY what everyone here is saying. We all eschew cell phones and still use typewriters. In fact, odd as it may seem, we’re all Mennonites.

      I just had a thought – maybe we should scrap the tradition associated with the US flag (and seal, for that matter), in favor of a sleeker, more poignant “U”. The letter U really retains the essential American character while allowing for a fresh perspective.

      If you disagree with my “U” idea, you’re narcissistic, deplorable, and wish to stand in the way of progress. And despite the fact that I just personally attacked you, I’ll now scold you to “find positive ways to stay connected” and somehow insinuate that you no longer like America because you don’t agree with the new logo.

      Which begs the question – do you actually know what the definition of narcissistic is?

  12. First of all, Williston, you should be proud of the fact that you have turned out such bright and loyal students that they care enough to comment on things such as a logo change. More than that, you are clearly not marketing experts. Brands that stand the test of time are those that stay consistent and true to the core of who they are. Everyone should evolve, but you dont change your point of recognition and celebration of history. What great brands have successfully modified their ‘logo’? NONE. Boarding schools reputations are based on hundreds of years of educating young adults, you’re creating a mochery of Williston by changing its identity and giving the impression you are not proud of your history. In my opinion, this is an ignorant and weak decision.

  13. Narcissism? I don’t think so. We are just a group of proud alumni who were taught to hold on to traditions, values and not let society depict who you are! Be yourself and strive for success. This logo change is clear attempt of the school administration changing what the school seal has always stood for. I don’t see Deerfield or Harvard trying to change their logo as part of a rebranding strategy. Maybe you need to consider revamping your marketing team – they clearly did not research the schools history or values. The NSFG is a huge part of the history of Williston and is not reflected in the tacky poorly done logo. I can only imagine the monies that were allocated to the design of the new logo. . If you look at other competitive schools in your SWOT analysis you would see that tradition and pride are part of the prep school experience.

    As part of a family who has sent several members to attend Williston Northampton, I am unhappy with the logo redesign and frankly, embarrassed that the elite school that I once attended is conforming and not standing strong on what was taught to your alumni.

  14. Wow. Clearly the value of listening to ones opinion has gone far away from the “New Williston”… Rebranding is something that should be left to corporations, not traditional private schools. “Months of round tables and focus groups”, seems a bit far fetched and who attended these groups? More than likely people who run corporations. Your alumni base is broad and proud, at least they were proud of Williston. Good for all the previous posts!

  15. Seriously? This logo has 2 major issues for me. One is that the elm tree and all things Northampton have been eliminated from the design to a bland W. I am certain that a design of only the tree without wavy lines in the background could satisfy the requirement for ease in creating the logo. It seems to me that the “difficulty” of the current logo is merely an excuse to further remove any ties to the NSFG.
    Two….again, seriously? The Williston name is bold and large, while the Northampton name is below and small.
    Totally in poor taste.

    1. The school does not want to remove Northampton from the equation. Please try to find and think of a more tactful way to convey your opinion rather than saying that the school is making, “excuses to remove further ties to the NSFG.”

      In recent years the Angelus has become a part of the school’s culture after a long absence, and Reunions are full of lively NSFG gatherings. Let me also mention that the Dining Commons has served Mississippi Mud for dessert on a number of occasions, one of my favorites. Sometimes I think that there is more NSFG that shows in our traditions and schooling than Williston Academy, but at this point there is no real division between traditions as the school has been a single entity for 42 years. I am extremely grateful for the merger because it meant that I was able to attend the school that was my home for 6 years. I am thankful for all of the NSFG ladies that established the precedent for female education. That fact is not lost on the numerous female students even to this day.

  16. My heart has always been with Williston not for the logo but for the people. The teachers, coaches and classmates I met in my six years at the school were what shaped me. I graduated thirty years ago, and all three of my children are currently Williston students. Although I do not always find it easy to embrace change, I can say that I am grateful for the changes that have been made at our school. Many traditions and core values remain the same, but the quality of education and the emphasis on a united, supportive community have improved.
    Although I have a strong, nostalgic attachment to our old school seal and equally strong opinions about font, typography and visual identity – I am in favor of the update. We have changed – for the better. The world and the world of education is different now than when I entered Williston in 1977. It’s OK with me that our logo moves forward as well.
    I am impressed that so many of my fellow alumni feel strongly about this change. I’m glad that we’re a passionate bunch. Please don’ forget to harness some of this passion to support other significant changes here at Williston including the Williston Plus and Williston Scholars Program and the soon to be unveiled Williston Athletics Hall of Fame. There are fantastic new things happening on our campus. I hope that you give these new initiatives as much attention as the logo has received.

    1. You have good points, but think about this…It’s more the fact that they felt the need to change it in the first place, and then came up with this as a result. There was nothing wrong with the old Williston logo…that’s the thing..Why do they feel the need to change, and to change to something as different as this. Bottom line is it’s just weird.

  17. I was saddened to read many of the remarks posted here. As a current Williston Northampton student, I am intensely grateful for the opportunities the School extends to me every day. I learn from wonderful teachers who aim to prepare their students for the changing world beyond our campus. These teachers prepare their students for the future, but students are never allowed to be unaware of the rich story of the past. We learn to value and honor our school’s history, and to carry that history with us so we may incorporate it into the future. I am a girl, and I know that I would not be able to attend Williston if not for the merger between Williston Academy and The Northampton School For Girls, but 42 years in, we are one school, and that school is what matters most to me. Change is not a bad thing; a seal does not make a school. I am proud of my school, I would be so even if I hated the new seal, and I cannot imagine any change that could ever undermine that pride.

    C. ’15

  18. I spent the majority of my working career in the commercial arts field. It was always said that to re-brand a company’s logo just for the sake of re-branding was a mistake. From a commercial standpoint it might create a feeling that the company was in financial trouble.
    That being said, I HATE the new logo and the reasons for creating take away the traditions of both schools. My guess is the logo will not last 10 years.

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