Throughout its 18 years of placing women and minority journalists in sports departments across the country, the Sports Journalism Institute has been without a logo to identify its unique mission.
So as SJI prepares for the 2012 relocation of its 10-day crash course to the Missouri School of Journalism, it only seemed fitting that a brand-new visual come along for the ride, courtesy of a Missouri student.
Designed by Mizzou senior Ashley Cummins, the new logo features the SJI acronym in blue serif typeface atop a white circular background, as well as SJI’s motto, “Helping women and minority journalists into newsrooms since 1993.”
Cummins had her design chosen as SJI’s new visual by winning a competition held in a Missouri School of Journalism advanced magazine design class, beating out 17 other students in the process. The contest was open to all students in the class. The students submitted multiple designs, and SJI officers made the final selection after the field was cut to 40 by a class vote.
“I was very surprised to win, actually,” said Cummins, a magazine design major who also works as a page designer for the Missourian and the music department designer for Vox. “I’m very proud to go from 360 logos, the whole class, down to them picking mine. It’s very exciting to be able to win.”
Greg Bowers, associate professor at Missouri and sports editor at the Missourian, approached Sandy Rosenbush, co-founder and co-director of SJI, with the idea of establishing a contest for a logo. Cummins’ winning design, he said, will help facilitate recognition of the SJI program.
“A logo is really helpful as a brand,” Bowers said. That is you, that is your organization … I was surprised [SJI] didn’t have one already. I think this is sort of the first manifestation of Missouri and SJI working together, and I think it could end up being a really good partnership.”
Cummins altered the winning logo throughout the competition, switching the colors, changing the font and adding SJI’s full name to create the final product.
“I wanted something that was sophisticated, because the Sports Journalism Institute is a necessity for newsrooms, and I strongly believe in diversity,” she said. “As a woman … I know being in the newsroom is definitely a challenge, and I’ve definitely experienced that before. … To say I’ve been a part of that even though I haven’t participated in the program, that I’m helping assist with it, I’m very proud to do that.”