Wichita State Shockers

August 13, 2014

Shocker Summer: The no-go logo

Jim Schaus made one major mistake in his years as Wichita State athletic director. He corrected it.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in The Eagle on Sept. 24, 2002.

The people spoke.

Wichita State athletic director Jim Schaus listened.

WSU’s athletic department will not use the revised wheat logo it released last week, Schaus said in a news release Monday night. The logo received criticism because of its design – seen as too complicated and too passive – and because the athletic department did not use a local graphics firm.

“We value our fans’ opinion a great deal,” Schaus said in the release. “Our approach was sound, but the final product did not meet our expectations and that of our constituents. After reviewing the feedback from those outside our process, I feel it is in the best interest of the athletic department to go a different direction with our revised wheat logo design.”

The new logo, unveiled last week, was designed by New York-based Phoenix Design Works, which has done logos for a host of college and professional teams. WSU paid the company $17,000, Schaus said.

“What they really lack here is combining wheat with sports,” Sonia Greteman of Wichita’s Greteman Group, a graphic design company, said last week. “It would have been much better to have combined some kind of sports element with the wheat element. That could have made it intriguing or memorable.

“This logo could have been designed for a tractor company in western Kansas.’’

The unveiling of the new logo completed a process Schaus started a year ago with a branding audit, which revealed that the university needed better brand-name identification with a logo that featured consistent use of colors and typefaces and distinguished Wichita State from Washington State, Weber State, Wright State and Wayne State.

“We are going to take a step back at this point and evaluate our future direction, “ Schaus said. “We still desire to promote Wichita State Shockers in a logo and wish to pursue this approach further, while still maintaining our long-standing WuShock logo.”

Sports information director Larry Rankin said Schaus would not comment further Monday night.

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