With student involvement, Frontier Regional School settles on new branding

  • Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield shared its new branding on Monday. The school’s teams and clubs can use the red icons on their materials and uniforms, while the blue logo will be used on the school website and on letterheads. Contributed Image/Frontier Regional School

  • Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 3/30/2021 3:27:35 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Frontier Regional School officially has a new and unified logo that the high school “can own and stand behind,” according to Assistant Principal Scott Dredge.

“When we switched our name to the Redhawks, we never really had a unified mascot. We never went so far as to spell the name properly — one word or two words, a capital letter?” he said, referencing an article in the Greenfield Recorder, written six years ago by former Sports Editor Jay Butynski. “We never really went anywhere with that.”

That changed on Monday night, when the school announced via its Facebook page the reveal of its new logo and logo brand, which will be used for institutional purposes — on the website and on letterheads — as well as for clubs and on athletic uniforms. Navy Blue icons were revealed for institutional purposes, and red ones with a navy blue outline for the clubs and teams.

“I think ... all of the events going on around the country, and the school’s focus on social justice and a more culturally responsive education — I think that was really the catalyst for us saying, ‘Yes, now is the time to unify all the logos into one standard mascot,’” Dredge said, noting that different teams and organizations were “historically left to their own devices.”

Frontier Regional School’s mascot used to be the Redskins. In 1998, the Redskins became the Redhawks in acknowledgement of the history of the word as a racist slur, according to the school newspaper, The Redhawk Report.

Dredge explained that following the name change, several of the teams were still using uniforms and equipment with iconography that included Native American imagery, such as the feather on the “F” for Frontier.

“This year was really the catalyst for making those changes to be more culturally responsible, and to be actually unified with an actual logo,” he said.

Last fall, the school put together a committee to begin thinking about ways to update the logo.

“We knew we wanted to move away from the Native American imagery,” he said. “We decided on having a student art contest.”

The committee received about 10 submissions overall.

“We had two submissions we liked — the idea of one and the artwork of the other,” Dredge said. “We asked both kids to work together, and then we brought in BRIGADE, a local digital marketing company, to help us refine their work.”

The students whose work was selected were sophomore David Frazier and freshman Olivia Jones.

“BRIGADE ended up working with (Olivia), kind of pulled her in — sort of like a mini internship — which was fantastic for her to be able to learn about the process, from art to digital,” Dredge said.

BRIGADE took Olivia’s original design and extended it to create a “logo family” that would represent Frontier.

In the meantime, Frontier spent time providing educational resources on cultural appropriation so students understood why it was important to change the logo.

“That was really important for us, and for our kids,” Dredge said.

Eventually, he said, athletic uniforms will be replaced, particularly for girls basketball, boys soccer and football, all of which have different versions of a feather. The other teams, he explained, were using their own logos entirely.

The school received a $4,000 donation that will help pay for the new uniforms, Dredge said. Teams will be able to choose which of the icons within the new branding works best for them.

“You’ll start seeing that rolling out next year,” he said.

Dredge said he enjoyed the collaborative effort that came from designing a new logo, both with students and the Hadley-based design agency.

“I loved that we were able to get our student body involved and provide this opportunity for our students to work with (BRIGADE),” he said. “I’m very, very grateful to them as a company.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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