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FRAMINGHAM – Framingham Public School District said it has been working on a new logo and branding since 2019, and hopes to unveil a new logo before the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

The two logo designs were first presented to the 9-member Framingham School Committee on June 23, by the district’s communications manager Rochelle Santos, who is overseeing the project.

These are the 2 options:

Logo and slogan selection is not in the purview of the elected School Committee, so the district administration will make the final decision on the new logo, but the public can weigh in on the two designs and vote for their favorite through July 23.

“There has been more than two years worth of research behind this effort which began in 2019 and was put on hold due to the pandemic,” said the district in an email to SOURCE.

“This project has been a long time coming and we are excited to have such high quality options to truly reflect the school district and community that we serve for years, if not decades, to come,” said Superintendent of School Bob Tremblay. “The initiative resurfaced as various visual branding needs arose.”

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Early research efforts, according to the public school district, included:

  • More than two years ago representatives from different Central Office Departments including the Media and Communications Manager, Human Resources, Office of Equity, and Superintendent Tremblay gathered to start planning for this transition to obtain a new logo.
  • Initial research was done with student groups to gather input on their feelings of being a Framingham Public Schools student.
  • Study Hall Focus Group (January 2020). Students were asked questions in small groups (What’s your favorite part of being a Framingham Public School Student? Describe Framingham in 3 words. What makes you feel connected and part of Framingham Public Schools?)
  • Sez You Video Segment in Flyer News (students asked their peers the same questions above)
  • Explorers Elementary Students drew/colored pictures to reflect what they thought of their school.

“All stakeholders in the FPS Community including teachers, administrators, parents, staff, students, and community partners contributed to the current Strategic Plan which ultimately led to our mission, vision, and values. These elements were all accounted for when the branding agency was developing concepts – in addition to what the focus group provided on June 4,” said the district to the digital news media outlet in an email today, July 10.

“While the timeline from engaging branding agencies to final asset delivery is ambitious, the District has done research over the course of two years to gather community input. Given the above-mentioned steps, the overall process isn’t rushed, but there are initiatives tied to final assets which need to move forward,” said the public school district in an email today to SOURCE.

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The district, in an email to the School Committee, the City Councilors, and the Mayor, gave five reasons on why the rush for a new logo:

  1. The current District ‘logo’ which utilizes the old town seal is being phased out and needs to be replaced – ideally with something that is unique and community-supported.
  2. For the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the District is opening a new Welcome Center. The Framingham Public Schools Parent Information Center (PIC) is shifting from a one-time registration experience to a community hub where families can access a range of support services from our many school and community partners. This expansion presents a need for banners, directional signage, printed collateral, and posters to help guide and welcome FPS families.
  3. The District plans to launch an updated website before school starts for the 21-22 school year. An updated logo, color palette, and fonts will guide the process, resulting in a modernized website with improved accessibility. Updated school websites will follow.
  4. Woodrow Wilson Elementary School has been renamed Harmony Grove Elementary School and while there won’t be a unique logo immediately to represent the new name, we can utilize the District logo font to help guide an interim branding effort over the summer in advance of the start of the 21-22 school year.
  5. Human Resources and the Office of Equity need new, refreshed recruitment material to attract teachers and staff at different events. This is long overdue and would be used throughout the year

The District contacted four different K-12 branding agencies with a specific request for a logo, color palette, fonts, and a style guide. Two agencies responded with proposals in a timely manner with the capability to deliver final assets in the timeline requested, said Supt. Tremblay.

The district chose Rhodes Branding out of South Carolina.

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Rhodes Branding was was provided a “scope of work outlined the goal, requested deliverables, proposed timeline, guidelines to align somehow with the City Seal and/or FHS Logo which is already established, challenges, supporting material including some early research on this project, brand guideline inspiration, and no expenditure over $10,000,” said the District to SOURCE.

The total cost of the project is $9,750, said Supt. Tremblay today, July 10.

What did the public school district get in the contract?

When all is said and done, the District, said the Superintendent, will have received the following from Rhodes Branding:

  • Virtual Focus Group Meeting (90 minutes on June 4) to gather input on needs and interests
  • Asset Gathering and Brand Audit (from various departments/offices)
  • Initial Concept Presentation on June 18 (Two logo concepts, slogan, font recommendations, mockups)
  • First Round of Revisions (New font and third logo concept requested)
  • Second Concept Presentation on June 28 (Presentation of a third logo concept) 
  • Final Concept Presentation expected late July
  • Asset Delivery of Logo and Brand Style Guide expected late July, early August (Logo assets including various colors / inverses / file formats / variations for special awareness months) 

Rhodes Branding was created in 2019 and is based in Columbia, South Carolina.

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2 Concepts for the Community To Vote On

  • This concept offers an abstract and semi-futuristic ‘FPS’ built into one mark. (see inspiration below)
  • Harmonious and different colors represent diversity.
  • The blank space in the mark is representative of an F.
  • The blank space also reflects pathways offered to students; that our students come here from various places; that many of our families commute to work in different places; and lastly, that people come to Framingham from larger cities for diversity, education, and a sense of community. Additionally, this concept with its T map inspiration offers a historical tie-in to transportation which has always been an element of the Town, now City Seal. (see inspiration below)
Big picture

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  • This version and its circular shape were inspired by the spoke and wheel / train tracks from the Framingham City Seal.
  • Utilizing the wheel shape and incorporating several ‘F’s, this represents Framingham being a school district on the move.
  • Being ‘on the move’ offers a connection to our progressive, forward-thinking, and innovative approach to education and all that we offer our students and families.
  • Harmonious and different colors represent diversity.
  • The dot in the middle represents each individual student surrounded by a safe, inclusive environment.
Big picture
Big picture

The project was originally going to be paid only in the Fiscal year 2021 budget, which ended on June 30, but now the project will be split between two fiscal years, said Framingham Public Schools Finance & Business Director Lincoln Lynch IV at a June 23rd School Committee meeting.

“Of that $6,662.50 in FY21 and $3,087.50 will be due to Rhodes Branding in FY22. The initial intention was to complete the process in FY21 and fund it with savings due to the pandemic. Now that the work is spanning over two fiscal years the Business Office, the Communications Office and the Office of Equity will meet the week of July 12 to discuss what adjustment from the FY22 budget or grant will be used for the $3,087.50,” said Supt. Tremblay today, July 10 to SOURCE. 

The Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Massachusetts Senate recently yesterday, July 9, approved a Fiscal year 2022 budget. It now heads to the Governor for his signature. In the budget is $25,000 for a Framingham Public Schools Welcoming Center.

“The state grant will pay for this logo project,” said Tremblay to Source on July 10.

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.