Staff were left reeling this week at the news that after only two months' official use, our university's expensive new logo was to be abandoned. Explaining the shock move, our Deputy Director of Logo Development, Roger Placement, cited last week's Times Higher survey which showed that two thirds of all higher education institutions were undergoing some form of rebranding.
He told our reporter, Keith Ponting (29), that Poppleton could not afford to lose out to its rivals. "We have taken advice from leading brand experts, Brand Experts, who have concluded that our present logo featuring an open Latin text, a unicorn, two lions rampant, three standing flamingos and a leaping porpoise is too complicated for today's minimalist ethos."
But what will take its place? Placement stressed the importance of keeping up with the times. "There is a definite trend away from animals. Southampton have recently abandoned their dolphin and there are indications that Surrey may be tiring of its prancing stag." There were also some serious doubts about the current brand efficacy of burning torches, solitary soaring towers and almost any sort of escutcheon.
After lengthy consultation with Brand Experts, it had therefore been decided that the solution was to adopt a more abstract figure. Four alternatives are at present under discussion and, in an unprecedented move, Placement and his logo team have decided to leave the final choice to university staff.
And that's where you, our good readers, come into the picture. Study the four shapes and decide which one gives the best representation of the goals and strategic objectives of Poppleton University and then send us your choice together with a written account of your reasons (no more than 500 words). Entries should reach our office by tomorrow morning.
TOP 5 ACADEMIC BESTSELLERS: POPPLETON BOOKSHOP
1. Living with Extreme Depression
by Juliet Tombs
Ackles and Pollock, £25
2. Making Class 'A' Drugs from Everyday Ingredients
by Zak Columbo
High and Happy, £30
3. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Geographers
by Hamada Schist
Shore and Berm, £15
4. Absolutely Compulsory Introduction to Cultural Studies
by Gordon Lapping
Knockdown and Remainder, £5
5. Frustrated Young Housewives (with plates)
Frank and Fearless, £5
We have received the following pastoral letter from the university's ecumenical chaplain:
"We are rapidly approaching a relatively important time of year, the time of year when some religions but by no means all will be marking the possible death and possible resurrection of the person that some people regard as the possible saviour of all mankind. A very happy Easter to all those who happen to subscribe to this particular belief system."
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
(My thanks to Ted Odgers, Media and Cultural Studies, for this suggestion. A new one on me, Ted!)