Sunday, August 11, 2013

PC run amok

Brooklyn College spends $107,000 on outside design firm to ax supposedly phallic logo

She gave it the shaft.
One of Karen Gould’s first acts as president of Brooklyn College was to thrust $107,000 into creating a new school logo — because the old clock-tower silhouette was supposedly too phallic looking, insiders said.
Just months after Gould took the helm of the institution in 2009 as its first woman president, the college hired Baltimore-based Neustadt Creative Marketing to draft a new logo and redo the Web site.
The company soon cut all visual references to the seminal symbol of the La Guardia Hall tower, erected in the 1930s.
The new logo was all words: “Brooklyn College” in large type, with “The City University of New York” in smaller letters.
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: Brooklyn College boss Karen allocated $107,000 to dump this “phallic” logo (below).
EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: Brooklyn College boss Karen allocated $107,000 to dump this “phallic” logo (below).

The design firm, which was hired without a bidding process or request for proposals, claims its work was cutting-edge.
“We replaced a logo that highlighted the campus clock tower with a fresh, youth-oriented design that would help the college stand out in the brand chaos of New York City,” the design firm touts on its Web site.
The old logo was designed about 10 years ago by the college’s in-house design studio that, a former college employee said, was fully staffed and could have easily created a new logo.
“She had a whole creative-services area at her beck and call,” the employee said of Gould.
After the new, text-only logo was created, the college also published a 29-page “Visual Identity System” with exacting standards on how it should be used.
The manual says the “letter forms have been sculpted specifically for Brooklyn College,” and warns that “designers should never attempt to redraw or reset them.”
Gould’s introductory letter in the manual calls it a “critical tool for our college to communicate effectively with local, regional, national and international audiences.”
One professor couldn’t wait for the revised logo.
“Can you send me a copy of the new Brooklyn College logo? We want to make a Women’s Studies banner, and want to use the not-so-phallic logo,” Barbara Winslow, an associate professor in the School of Education, wrote in a December 2009 e-mail to the college communications department obtained by The Post.
Gould, an expert in French- Canadian literature who had previously been provost of California State University, Long Beach, recently courted controversy at 16,000-student Brooklyn College when she allowed a pro-Palestinian student group to hold a campus forum on a boycott of Israel.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind called for Gould to resign. Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a Brooklyn College alum, wrote that the event was “academically biased.”
College spokeswoman Keisha-Gaye Anderson would not say where the $107,000 came from, but claimed not from taxpayers or tuition. She would not say why the Baltimore firm was chosen over less costly college staff.
Of the phallic logo, she said the college was trying to “to revamp both external and internal communications abilities — not just create a logo — in order to raise the profile of the college.”

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