1. Why do we need a new logo? Because the old one is 8 years old, and no one liked it. Until now. If you have an iconic logo (think Apple's apple, or Chevy's short cross or the Mercedes Benz almost peace sign) you don't change your logo. Otherwise, you change your logo periodically to keep up and look fresh. I know that lots of our churches have the same website they put up in 2004, but the UUA shouldn't. Their order of service is printed in the same font and format as it was years ago. Would you wear the same tie for 8 years every week to church?
2. Who decided that we needed one and picked this one? The staff of the UUA. That is what we pay them to do. The by-laws and purposes say the production of materials for spreading UUism some of their job. They also order pencils and design the stationery and pick the banners at GA. Right, your congregation doesn't need no new stinking logo. It's growing like crazy among the young people of your town, who are flocking to your website and then poking each other in the butt with bbq forks to get in the doors on Sunday. After all, you got a really striking picture of your steeple and your board of trustees picnic on the frontpage of your website, right above the link to the minutes of the pigeon control committee. Don't give me that crap that people come because of the deep genuine relationships that they share in your congregation. We're not growing because we are not communicating and we are not communicating because we treat communication as an afterthought, a luxury.
3. How much did this cost? We don't spend enough on this sort of thing, not too much. We are in the communication business, especially at the UUA level, but also at the congregational level. And in this environment, in which everyone is media saturated, if you are not sophisticated and polished in your presentation in the general media environment, you are a joke. Literally, there are websites dedicated to examples of bad and awkward marketing. There are some good things going out there -- I think of the 'God is Still Speaking' campaign - but believe me, wherever that idea came from, it was professionally developed.
4. Logos are for communicating with other people, not ourselves. When people talk about resurrecting some old logo from the 40's (two circles and an off-center cross), who do they think we are talking to? That's design for self-satisfaction. If you have to decode for others, then you've lost. If you want a logo to be a summarizing symbol which expresses everything about you, you are asking too much. The Cross has been taken.
5. I am just bewildered by people who last week said that UU's were insular and unhip and uninteresting, and this week are going 'who needs a logo? who needs a communication strategy'? Or people who laugh at our dorkiness and then decry efforts to change it.
6. There are people, and I am looking right them, who think that we can't order lunch until we get our theology straight. I know its frustrating that you wrote a whole a brilliant paper on Christology for seminary and no one in UUland cares. And there are others who think that we can't pick a hymn until we get our mission clear. Yes, if we knew what we were doing, we'd being doing it right now. And there are others who view everything as a sign of the UU's inevitable decline and failure. Haters gonna hate. Why should I care?
7. Don't even get me started on the sexual symbolism of the logo. That's about you, not the logo. We are a denomination culturally defined by older white women and we are slowly sliding back into Victorianism, (and I don't mean Peacebangism).
OK, I am pissed, depressed and even the gym, choir practice and a stiff drink has not helped. I'm going to go read a Nordic detective story where alcoholic and depressed policemen sit around in gray rainy weather in old Volvo's waiting to arrest the only guy in the city who is packing a gun. Or one of those Icelandic mysteries in which the whodunit is compromised by the fact that everybody in Iceland knows each other already. It should cheer me up.
I am not often discouraged, but the resistance to the new, to change, among my colleagues, especially among colleagues who think of themselves on the cutting edge, is just too depressing tonight.