Canton High School proudly unveils official new logo setBy Jay Turner
The Patriots have the unmistakable “Flying Elvis” and the Bruins have that classic “spoked B.” And now the Bulldogs of Canton High School, for the first time in school history, have their own signature look — and one that is every bit as official as the pros thanks to the generosity and expertise of the Adidas Group.
Unveiled on Monday evening at the conclusion of Canton High’s kickoff night for student-athletes and their parents, the Bulldogs’ new, professionally designed set of logos are the result of a collaborative effort to create a unique and lasting “brand” that will serve to strengthen school culture and pride for generations to come.
The official logo set features three components: a primary mark consisting of a specially designed “C” with the word Canton spelled out vertically inside of it; a secondary mark with a classic-style bulldog in three-quarter profile; and a “wordmark” that calls for a specific styling when printing the name of the school or its sports teams.
According to CHS Athletic Director Danny Erickson, the plan is to start using the new images immediately and to hopefully begin weaving them into the fabric of the school, although the intent is not to be prescriptive with the new designs.
“The idea is to have a unifying mark that we can all refer to as the Canton Bulldogs,” explained Erickson, who was part of a team of community stakeholders who worked with the Adidas Sports Licensed Division on the project.
A Canton native and an alumnus of the school, Erickson said he has personally seen hundreds of different versions of CHS logos in use over the years, including various fonts, shades of green, and an assortment of different Bulldogs.
“It’s amazing how I’ve seen various teams and clubs, even myself in my office, just grabbing random Bulldogs to use,” he said. “Some of them have caught on, some have come and gone, some have had more staying power, but they have all just been really haphazard.”
Erickson said it likely would have stayed that way for some time if it weren’t for the people at the Adidas Group, which is the parent company of Canton-based Reebok and now oversees its team sports and licensed sports properties. While their focus is almost solely on professional and college teams, Adidas approached Canton High School last spring about developing an identity and a brand for the Bulldogs, and Erickson said they “jumped at the chance.”
Spearheading the design process on Adidas’ end was Jeffrey Eagles, senior design manager for the Sports Licensed Division. Being a resident of the town himself with children in the school system, Eagles said he was thrilled to be a part of this first-of-its-kind effort and so too were his colleagues.
“With Canton High School in our backyard, we were really kind of excited at the opportunity to give back to the host community,” he said.
And while they had never before done an identity rebrand for a high school, Eagles said the methodology and the design process was “exactly the same” as it would be for any of its pro clients, which currently include the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), among others.
Eagles said the process for CHS also included a great deal of research on the history of the school and the town, and it was that research that ultimately produced the primary logo’s signature feature: an arched shape inside the letter “C” that mirrors the arches on the Canton Viaduct.
“We talked a lot about the letter C as a base for the logo,” said Eagles, “and we asked ourselves, ‘In the end what’s going to make this a Canton, Massachusetts logo? What’s going to make that unique detail that nobody else can own and lay claim to?’”
Eagles said it finally “clicked” with the Viaduct arches, and the response from the Canton contingent that visited Reebok headquarters in August was overwhelmingly positive.
“What was exciting is that we had consensus among us, and we came out of there really excited about what the final product was going to be,” recalled CHS Principal Derek Folan, who took part in the focus group along with students, parents, and fellow school and community leaders.
Folan said they were “beyond impressed” by the work of Eagles and his team, and they all seemed to be in agreement on what the new logos should signify.
“What we came to is the history of the town needed to be represented in some manner, and the traditional, timeless aspect was important,” he said. “We wanted it to be easily identifiable — a signature mark that is both representative of Canton High School and the Canton community as a whole.”
Folan said “strength” and “loyalty” were other key words that came out of the group discussion, and they felt that it was clearly reflected in the secondary Bulldog logo, which features a realistic and classic spin on the popular mascot.
Eagles, for his part, is very pleased with the final design, and while he certainly understands that “not everybody is going to love it,” he hopes that most people will see it as a big improvement over the inconsistent logos of the past.
As for the plan to integrate the logos, Erickson said students and staff will begin to see them on signs, letterhead, and assorted apparel in the coming months. The school is also planning to hold a naming contest for the new bulldog, and Erickson predicts that “one or two” sports teams will be wearing uniforms with the new logos as soon as this winter.
At the same time, both Erickson and Folan were quick to emphasize that the new logos are not just about athletics.
“My hope is that it’s representative of the entire high school,” said Folan. “Because that strength and pride and strong connection to the school we hope is seen throughout all of our clubs and extracurriculars as well as our arts programs, because there’s a ton to be proud of here. Also, it says ‘Canton’ on the side, and we hope the community loves it and kind of embraces it as well and that it’s something you’ll see in all different areas of the town.”
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