Story and photo by James Preminger, CCSD Public Relations
The new Central Consolidated School District logo is simplistic yet also complex.
Its overlaying messages of educational partnerships with the Navajo Nation (the Shiprock), New Mexico (the Zia symbol), and the U.S. Department of Education (the blue ring)—combined with an eagle in flight and a report card symbolizing student success through hard work—add up to a complex design on a very small canvas. The district is a public school system under the state of New Mexico.
The new CCSD logo was designed and drawn by Shiprock High School senior Malachi Lee, who used colored pencils under tight guidelines: The design had to be recognizable when the logo appeared as small as an inch in diameter. In the world of branding logos, less is definitely more.
Art is a family affair for Malachi.
“It’s pretty much in my family. I grew up around my uncles, and my brothers, and my dad pretty much doing art …. The stuff I like to do is what reflects on to me. I let my hand do the drawing and see what comes out in the end.”
The logo was chosen through a series of District surveys in the fall of 2016 on the District website at www.ccsdnm.org. The competition was open to all CCSD students. Schools that submitted logos also included Kirtland Central High and Career Prep High. The names of the schools and the students were not on the survey.
Students from across the District submitted a total of 61 logos—31 of which came from Sandra Garnanez’ art class at Shiprock High School.
“We had to do research,” Garnanez said. “I showed my students the ideas of looking at logos but making them very simplistic. … We brainstormed through a lot of ideas. We looked at what the District wanted, and came up with symbols for each of the wording they wanted.”
“My art teacher told me to keep it really simple,” Malachi said. “I am really good about putting detail into my work, but decided to keep it as simple as it is.”
The first survey allowed viewers to vote on their favorite logo out of each of the 12 rows on the website page. This ensured all of the logos were considered by the viewers, and not just those in the top three rows.
The second survey had those 12 winning logos, with viewers choosing one logo out of each of the three rows.
The final survey featured those three winning logos with viewers voting on their favorite.
“I am consistently impressed by the work our students are able to accomplish in every facet of education, whether that be art, in this case, or science, math, and English,” Shiprock High Assistant Principal Jeff Sagor said.
The School Board approved the new Central Consolidated School District logo 5 to 0 at their Dec. 20, 2016 School Board meeting at Newcomb Elementary School.
Asked what he would want people to think when they saw the logo he designed, Malachi said, “To give them an idea that anyone can do anything. You just can’t be shut into one area … you can expand.”
“That is what my art teacher is trying to have me do, because she sees all of my art. I do it all to myself. I try to keep it under wraps. She got me into (designing a District logo and entering it). I expanded my talent to go further and beyond.”