30 April 2012

Revisiting People Tree 2.0 – Paging the 21st Century Betsy Ross

First, let me say well done to the Columbia Association.  I think the new logo is distinctive and well represents the community.  I am also pleased that CA asked professional designers to do the work rather than relying on public group think.  Truth be told, the public was not involved in the first CA logo, and that worked out pretty well (legal trademark issues aside) for a few decades.  That is not to say I am 100% in love with logo, but I had my reservations about the other CA logos too. 

By comparison, Google “People Tree Logo” or “People Circle”.  (A quick aside to CA’s IT department, the new logo does not show up in image searches on Google, get to work on that please.)  What I am saying is, there are an awful lot of bad people tree logos, and this one works quite well.

Well, the new People Tree logo is now more than a few days old.  Bravo-Zulu to the Columbia Association for a pretty good local rollout.  CA has the new logo on You Tube, It’s on Twitter (and has its own hashtag -  #CAlogo), multiple sightings on Facebook (kudos to County Councilperson Courtney Watson for weighing in on the logo first), and stories have been written on both Columbia Patch and Explore Howard.  Another nice touch is the logo is prominent on the CA Website, which has also been completely redesigned.  The only place that I can think of where the logo has not been seen is in the banner advertisements for Explore Howard, Baltimore Sun – Howard page, and the Washington Post – Local page.

I imagine that the next steps would be the new tote bag showing up at the Member Services Center.  Possibly a new tie is in the works, with “People Leaves” tumbling down the fabric.  However, now is the time to once again think big.  As many know, Columbia also had a flag.  It has not been on display since the bell tower came down on Lake Kitttamaquandi, but I did find a partial photo over on Maryland Daily Photo blog. 

So what would a 21st Century People Tree flag look like?  Well Compass Nation, I’m glad you asked.  I took some time with my rudimentary Photoshop skills and put together some ideas for discussion.  My first thought was to keep it simple, much like the original flag:

I also had a spirited discussion about flag ideas at the Santos Starbucks Sunday Sixty this weekend (by the way, the Sunday Sixty tripled its normal attendance last Sunday!  Thanks to the folks at the Columbia Mall Starbucks for accommodating all of us!); and the idea of a flag based on the United States Flag was discussed (ten stripes – ten villages, etc):

And for those of you of the “Spirit of 1776 1967” persuasion:

Ultimately, I found both of these too busy (just my 2-cents, your opinion may vary).  So I went with the standard flag conventions; first the horizontal bars:

and then the vertical bars:

and lastly, the bars and triangle layout:

My intent here was to hit some of the standard flag conventions to see how a new people tree might look.  What are your ideas?  Should the flag have Charlie Brown T-shirt like zig-zags?  Maybe tie dye?  Let your mind wander…mine sure did.



James Howard said...

I like what you're thinking here, but we should remember we are in Maryland with the most bitching state flag in the union. And frankly out of it, too.

I think you need some sort of acknowledgement of this by quartering your proposed flags and displaying the people thingy (it needs a name) in opposite corners and three cross-crosslets in the remaining quarters.

B. Santos said...

I agree with your assessment of the state flag. I tried working with a Union Jack motif, but much like the US Flag, it gets busy awful quick. The quadrant does hold appeal.