PSU logo revisited, new designs abound

Portland State and design company Sockeye Creative unveiled 10 possibilities for a new PSU logo design in a presentation Monday.

Sockeye Creative has been working with PSU on developing a new logo design since February, and now the Portland based company has three categories of symbols and logo fonts, any of which could be the next visual representation of Portland State University. Whichever logo is selected, it will develop the “Portland State University” slogan that currently represents the university, by adding a graphic design and updating the font.

The company is presenting the 10 options again today in room 326 of Smith Memorial Student Union from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Metz said they will assess all student comments and recommendations before presenting a final logo on June 1.

Sockeye Creative has worked with Concordia University, Euroleague Basketball and the Portland Beavers, among other companies, on logo designs.

Sockeye Creative Director Peter Metz said his company drafted over 10,000 symbols, which they still have posted around their downtown office. Metz said that narrowing down the logos to three categories was difficult, but the work is something that he loves.

“It’s something that is such a part of how I think,” he said. “Logos get to the essence of what something is.”

Metz and Frazier separated the designs into two groups of three similar logos and one group of four.

Metz described the first category of logos as an effort to show Portland State as the roots of the city of Portland. The three logos in the category all show a city atop an underground reflection of the city as a base of roots.

The second category was intended to give PSU a more modern and forward-looking perspective. The symbols place a square-shaped “P” with multiple boxes surrounding it, and open space on various sides.

The final category used a more traditional approach to university logos. It enclosed the letters “PSU” within a hexagon, a square and a circle in various shapes and forms. A fourth option in this category held the letters PSU without any kind of shape enclosing it.

Each category continued in the vein of the former logo, which the university has used for nearly 10 years, by placing “Portland State University” in various fonts and sizes next to every symbol.

President of Sockeye Andy Frazier said the company used two objectives when visualizing symbolic interpretations for PSU: they wanted to create an identity that the PSU audience is affiliated with, as well as to create a symbol that caused intrigue. To do this, the company focused on the words passionate, human, aspiration, confident, urban and Portland as a base to work on for the project.

Cassie McVeety, vice president for university relations, said a pool of collected resources and a fund that was established two years ago financed the project. A February Vanguard article reported the cost of the project at close to $120,000, half of the company’s proposed estimate to complete the project.

The project started after President Daniel Bernstine initiated the Task force for Integrated Marketing at Portland State. The task force of 40 faculty, staff and students was given the goal of turning the mission, vision and values of PSU into a more accessible identity.

The task force was one of multiple groups the Sockeye co-founders met with while working on the logo of Portland State. Metz said he and Frazer met with the task force, a work group of nine PSU individuals and a group of fifty deans, provosts, the president, students and alumni.

Frazer declined allowing publication of the various logo choices because he said too much feedback hinders the creative process.