Pop quiz, hotshot: Can you identify your law school logo on sight? Can you describe it blind? The answer is probably yes, because law schools emblazon everything from your first acceptance letter to the most recent letter you got begging for money with their logo.
It’s a critical part of law school branding. Long-established schools are rocking heraldic shields to convey gravitas. Schools interested in a more modern edge employ slimmed-down, Apple-style minimalist symbols. Either way, a lot of time and effort goes into creating and packaging the logo to sell the school.
On the other hand, a school trying to desperately attract more students to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year could post an open job listing online for a graphic designer to make them a logo for a whopping $50. Fifty bucks won’t get you much in 2013.
Which law school would do such a thing?
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is mired in the dreaded “Unranked” portion of the U.S. News rankings. The members of a law school’s administration can’t attract a bevy of new students with that hanging over their heads. Something needs to change, and “improving their employment statistics” is probably off the table. Having already tried conning students into applying without thinking, AJMLS has decided that it’s time to revamp the logo.
Instead of hiring a professional graphic designer like, you know, a real institution would, the school took to a freelancer website and offered a fixed $50 fee to some lucky designer so desperate for cash that they’d sell their skills for a pittance. Here’s the listing:
We are looking for an original logo design done for a law school.
1) it needs to be a coat of arms
2) it must have something to do with Law and Atlanta
3) the name of the school is John Marshall Law School
Please send us a sample so we can select a winner.
Please visit www.JohnMarshall.edu to get an idea for the website
Please google University of Pennsylvania Law, or Yale Law or Harvard Law to get an ideas of what their logos look like.
Again the work must be original and brand new.
Perhaps John Marshall Law School is trying to make a meta point: unemployed people making a few bucks an hour hopping from one temporary job to another is just as good as working for an established company with an actual salary.
This is the current logo:
John Marshall’s signature? That’s what they came up with when the John Marshall braintrust got together? I’m starting to see why these people want to limit their logo costs to $50. The signature does convey “this is John Marshall,” but it fails to convey the idea of a “school” or anything — which, on second thought, might actually be truth in advertising.
Or maybe it doesn’t convey “this is John Marshall”:
That’s John Marshall’s actual signature. The logo version doesn’t really match up. I assume the John Marshall Law School is not disingenuous enough to use a completely made up autograph, so it’s probably an authentic signature Marshall gave at some point in his life, but it’s a much more rushed autograph than the one he used to sign opinions.
Staci here: I decided to give this a try. What can I say, 50 bucks sounded appealing. I took some notes from the job description, and threw in things having to do with “Law and Atlanta,” the name of the school, and used Penn Law, Yale Law, and Harvard Law to get some ideas. Here’s what I came up with:
Now that’s branding! I am of the opinion that this is obviously the best new logo design the school’s going to get. I’ll be sending you my address. Thanks in advance for your prompt payment, John Marshall.