Franklin schools rebrands with new logos, wordmarks

A modern, red, black, and white wildcat with alert ears and open eyes is part of Franklin City Schools’ new district brand that was unveiled at the Sept. 12 groundbreaking of the new Franklin High School. CONTRIBUTED/FRANKLIN CITY SCHOOLS

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A modern, red, black, and white wildcat with alert ears and open eyes is part of Franklin City Schools’ new district brand that was unveiled at the Sept. 12 groundbreaking of the new Franklin High School. CONTRIBUTED/FRANKLIN CITY SCHOOLS

Idea is to be as state-of-the-art as the district’s new buildings will be.

A modern, red, black, and white wildcat with alert ears and open eyes is part of Franklin City Schools’ new district brand unveiled at the Sept. 12 groundbreaking for the new Franklin High School.

District officials said the updated Wildcat — one that’s unique to the district — along with a new paw and wordmarks are part of a branding package that the district is rolling out.

For years, the district has used a variety of wildcats, most of which are borrowed from other schools including colleges and universities, district officials said. With the new branded logos, the current ones will gradually be phased out and replaced with the district’s new trademarked Wildcat and paw.

“At least four other Ohio high schools use the same wildcat that Franklin has used for many years,” said Fil Anastasio, marketing and business development manager for SHP, the district’s architecture firm. Anastasio led the team of parents, staff, administrators, alumni, a board member and community members who met multiple times since April to work on the brand refresh.

The new Wildcat has a ‘W’ built into the lines on its face, and with a nod to Franklin’s geography, the curve around its cheek mirrors the curvature of the Great Miami River as it flows through the city.

The board approved the branding package in August, but the district chose to unveil the look at the public celebration Sept. 12.

“Updating the Franklin City Schools’ brand was a natural complement to the complete rebuild of the district buildings and the revitalization efforts in Franklin. The rebranding team struck a perfect balance between a traditional, yet modern, version of the Wildcat that is unique to Franklin,” said Andy Fleming, Franklin school board president. “The proud tradition of the Wildcat will continue on with this timeless design.”

The new Wildcat mascot will be unique to Franklin City Schools, and the red and black colors will be standard across all buildings and school properties, all uses, and all platforms, both print and digitally, officials said.

The rebranding committee had the benefit of more than 1,000 community survey responses that clarified what was important to the residents and what they wanted the brand to represent.

The new Wildcat honors the traditions of the old Wildcat mascot, with a three-fourths face, the red and black colors, and the use of both “Wildcats” and “Cats.” The new logo contains both school colors, a change from the current black and white Wildcat.

Officials said the rebranding discussion began in early spring with the goal of ensuring that the district’s brand is as fresh and up-to-date as the new buildings will be.

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