Stanwood-Camano School District unveils new student-made logo

Haelee Watson is officially a logo designer.

“I didn't think this was something I wanted to go to college for, but now that I've seen the process, I would consider studying marketing in college,” the Stanwood High sophomore said.

In the spring, Watson won the Stanwood-Camano School District contest to design the district’s new logo.

Watson’s design was one of more than 130 entries received from students in grades 6-12 and was the top choice in a poll of SCSD staff to replace the logo that’s been in use since at least 2003.

Watson created her logo as part of an assignment for her business marketing class taught by George Colby.

“When designing the original, I thought about what Stanwood was to me and what it was to other people,” she said. “I was thinking about what other people want to see.”

Her original circle version centered on two birds — “one a student and the other a parent or teacher,” Watson said.

District spokesperson Craig Degginger said a committee of teachers pared down the initial entries to semifinalists for a district staff vote to pick a top three. After input from various stakeholders, staff picked the winner.

But the work was just getting started.

Madak, a Stanwood-based marketing firm, volunteered its services to help Watson and the district refine the logo through a series of design meetings over the summer.

“It was interesting at first, but I think it has turned out great and it is better than my first version,” Watson said of the final design. “It’s come a long way.”

Kristin Huggins, senior art director at Madak, said they wanted to stay true to Watson’s original concept and pay homage to the current logo.

“Haelee absolutely has the talent for this,” Huggins said.

They met several times to discuss and tweak key elements, such as the open book that mimics waves and the birds representing a sense of community, Huggins said.

Madak owner Adam Kopp said they wanted to “support the community and mentor the next generation. Kristin brought (Watson) along in the process and showed her how they build brands.”

Watson said she’s happy with the final product and hopes the community will embrace the change.

“Kristin helped it come a really long way. I think it needed to be spiced up a little bit,” Watson said. “I think it’ll be good.”

Degginger said the new logo pairs well with launching the district’s updated five-year strategic plan, which the School Board approved Aug. 16.

“To involve the student voice in this is important,” he said.

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