Laurie Taylor

April 12, 2002

"The University of North London and London Guildhall University are paying a 'five-figure fee' for work on a new logo" - THES, April 5 .

Item 12: Redesigning the Poppleton logo. Professor Comstock will report on his sub-committee's deliberations.

Thank you, vice-chancellor. As you know, our present logo depicts a dolphin leaping over a large pile of books with the legend, Nitor Donec Superavero - I Strive Until I Shall Have Overcome. Although this logo captured a student preoccupation at the time of its inception, it has recently come under fire. Some have suggested that the pile of books may lead students to entertain unrealistic expectations about the university library; others have argued that the logo can give the erroneous impression that this university caters solely for the education of dolphins.

Could we cut to the chase?

Certainly, vice-chancellor. In its search for an alternative, my sub-committee received submissions from three specialists in logo development. The first featured a grey-haired academic bowing before a group of students with the words, Populo Bene Serviare - To Serve The People Well. The agency stressed the symbolic force of suggesting that academics were subservient to students and the resonances between "populo" and "Poppleton".

Most striking.

The second concentrated on the university's financial indebtedness to Poppleton Pork Products with a design showing two intertwined jumbo sausages and the motto, Spiritus Durisssima Coquit - Courage Digests Most Things.

Delightful.

The final submission went for the more populist spirit with a representation of the vocal artiste, Ms Britney Spears, and the legend Impavido Pectore - With Dauntless Breast. The committee was divided between the sausages and Ms Spears, so I used my casting vote in favour of the latter.

Might we be privy to the criteria that you brought to bear upon this important decision?

Quite frankly, I've always been something of a breast man.

What else?

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