LETTER TO THE EDITOR

About 20 years ago, I was involved in the design of the entrance signage for the college. The charge was to develop the entrance with a welcoming sign that identified the college by name and at the same time presented the public with a sense of permanence and elegance. The horizontal, curved structure of concrete and brick implied a foundational architecture for the college’s identity. The simple “LINFIELD” (block letters) was chosen to suggest that our identity was solid — well known by the singular name. As Harvard is known, for example and others with traditional and long lineage. It was designed to require minimal maintenance with materials resisting the effects of time.
I have no quarrel with the “new look,” as it represents us and is used for letterheads, cards, e-mails and the website, but superimposed on the existing entrances is silly and frankly lazy. We are ill-served by this easy “solution.” Offered as it is in one of our basic design classes the grade would warrant a “C”— at best. And that is with grade inflation.
I am disappointed and cringe each time I am confronted with thiscartoon. It can only be described as commercial graffiti, appliquéd on the original surface with no regard for design continuity. A facile, lightweight lettering suggesting a greeting card garnished with a garish, tinseled red acorn now decorates all the entrances to our campus. It effectively erodes any concept of permanence and seems more appropriate as a letterhead or business card—its origin, in fact. It was expensive, poorly conceived—garish, absurd. I am chagrined that this decision was made as it is now permanently installed and will remain for years to come, requiring, I fear, annual maintenance and repeated facelifts.

- Nils Lou, professor of art

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