Unanimous vote decides new MAPS logo, effective immediately

Marquette Area Public Schools board of education voted 7-0 on Monday to use a custom Marquette Sentinels logo designed by a Marquette Senior High School alum. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Area Public Schools board of education voted 7-0 Monday to use a custom Marquette Sentinels logo designed by a Marquette Senior High School alum.

The logo itself is a two-dimensional, straight-on view of something similar to a Spartan warrior’s helmet, complete with a plume. The main element of the helmet is the face plate which is shaped like a stylized letter “M.”

Superintendent Zack Sedgwick said the logo was created by MSHS Class of 1999 alum Matt Sia who is currently the creative director at Pearlfisher, a design agency in New York. Sia took the feedback given by members of the student council on the more than 100 logo submissions received.

“I think this is an opportunity to really leverage professional experience in a way that can contribute to the local community,” Sia said. “I think for me it’s important because it’s a pivotal moment in the history of our high school.”

While evaluating student feedback and analyzing the logo submissions, Sia said he reflected upon important elements of the Marquette area in order to create a design that would be “timeless.” He produced the sentinel helmet design as well as a simplified, tighter version of the school’s current “block M” logo that could be produced in different colors.

Matt Sia’s new take on the traditional “block M” logo for Marquette Senior High School. (Image courtesy of Marquette Area Public Schools and Matt Sia)

Just as with any other client, Sia was thinking about the myriad of uses this logo would go through after being implemented. In a presentation shown at the meeting, attendees got a glimpse of T-shirts, hoodies, hockey uniforms, murals and more using the new logo. At its most unique, Sia used the design on the hood of a hoodie and on football helmets.

His presentation also included a full set of brand guidelines with a color palette, font type and varied icons for the school’s use.

“The important thing at the end of the day is that you don’t ever lose the integrity and the simplicity of the design,” Sia said. “It was crafted in a way where every angle and every piece is really created with intention.”

Board member Jason Zdunek raised some concerns about how much of the student body actually supported this design.

“For example, with the Sentinels name, there were a lot of students in support of the other names,” he said. “Certainly we saw a variance from the recommendation from the student council.”

The Marquette Sentinels design planned to be used alongside the Marquette Senior High School’s “block M” logo made by Matt Sia. (Image courtesy of Marquette Area Public Schools and Matt Sia)

Board President Kristen Cambensy said it’s true that board members only communicated with the student council but that it became “difficult” to be as transparent as they would have liked due to some issues in soliciting the opinion of the entire student body and surrounding community.

Jennifer Klipp, a board member, said, “My understanding is that the student council did do due diligence with talking to classmates and I know from my experience, students I’m having conversations with, children of friends and children in the community, kids are really excited to have something beyond the Block M.”

Cambensy noted that even the senior class would like the new logo to be incorporated into some of their end-of-year activities and merchandise.

Ultimately, the board made a unanimous 7-0 vote to accept the new logo made by Sia for a one-time payment of $200. For any needed alterations or future additions, Sedgwick said there is a work for hire agreement with Sia at $200-per-hour for his services.

As for rights to the logo’s design, Sedgwick said, “Because the feedback from the students was very positive, we worked with our legal counsel and Mr. Sia to frame an agreement that would give us any rights to the design. … We don’t have to worry about any conflicts.”

Reflecting upon the original 4-3 vote to get rid of the “Redmen” name and logo, multiple board members made remarks recognizing the board’s ability to work through issues together.

“Thank you specifically to President Cambensy who, through a lot of ups and downs and some unforeseen situations, has steered this ship in such a way that most importantly students’ voices were at the forefront,” Klipp said. “She made sure to do due diligence in every possible way where students’ voices could be heard and community members’ voices could be heard. … It has not been easy and President Cambensy handled it with grace and diligence and thoughtfulness as did the entire executive committee.”

Fellow board member Glenn Sarka said, “We had members of this board that voted against the change and Mr. Hewitt talked about it today but once we made the change — and this is where we differ from, say, what’s happening in D.C. and what’s happening in Lansing — we’ve supported the change and Mr. Hewitt was here to make the motion to the get the logo so that the change is complete. I would ask people to look at that as a positive and ask people to look at that as something that’s noble.”

In other business, intellectual property attorney and Marquette resident Margaret Brumm attended public comment. Brumm has been attempting to gain ownership of the Marquette Sentinels trademark for a variety of uses including clothing and educational services. She is also currently attempting to recall board members Klipp as well as Jennifer Ray due to what Brumm alleges as money mismanagement; while her recall application was denied, Brumm is currently going through the appeal process.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today