Monett looks to ditch Block M

Saturday, May 9, 2020
These designs and logos with different purple and gold color variants are just a few that the Monett school board is considering using for the district and its athletic programs going forward. Go to www.monett-times.com to see the full spread of logos and color coordination presented to the school board. Contributed photos

Editor's Note: Visit https://issuu.com/monetttimes/docs/monett_proposed_logos to see the full list of proposed logos.

District evaluates several different logo designs

The familiar Block M moniker that has represented Monett schools and its athletic programs for over half a century may soon be discarded by the district in favor of a more modern and trendy logo that is uniquely tied to the district and could be trademarked.

At its April school board meeting, the members looked at a few different artist renderings of what the new design could potentially be.

Superintendent Russ Moreland explained to the board that these new designs would give the district its own unique brand with rights, through a trademark, wholly owned and used by its programs.

Moreland said he felt the designs would allow Monett to protect its brand and not be confused with another institution, like the Universities of Missouri and Michigan that also use the Block M.

The board was shown four different renderings in multiple purple and gold color schemes in a new Cub head design, a modern looking M, a bear paw print and then a bear paw print that contained the newer M designation.

Reaction on the board was mixed. Jim Randall, one of two board members that are Monett alumni (1998), felt that the new designs would become dated in short order and plainly stated he disliked the futuristic M that was proposed.

“As as football fan, you always see changes to uniforms and logos,” Randall said. “Some [teams] change to trendy designs and then are forced to change back later after the design goes out of style. Uniforms are easy to change. Logos aren’t. Monett has had a Block M as long as I can remember. That design has never gone out of style. University of Michigan and Marshall University have always used a Block M. Mizzou does.”

Brian Hunter took issue with the new Cub head and said it looked more like a more ferocious adult bear than a Cub design.

The bear logo also is reminiscent of the Lion logo currently used by the Missouri Southern football team.

It was noted Monett had been using a paw print with four toes, but to be correct, Assistant Superintendent Mike Evans pointed out, a bear actually has five toes, thus explaining the new paw design. Many four-toed cub prints appear around school facilities and at Burl Fowler Stadium.

Board member Ken Gaspar approved of the new designs and change.

“I’m fine with all of it, even the futuristic M look,” Gaspar said. “In my opinion the Block M is ubiquitous and doesn’t have a special meaning.”

A.J. Bahl said he liked the Block M look on the turf at Kenley Richardson Field at Burl Fowler stadium. He also mentioned that he would like to talk to others in the community before he made up his mind.

Moreland again stressed that the goal of the redesign was to give something more unique to Monett and not to turn things upside down for the sake of change. He also stated it would be a mistake to change and then go back to a previous logo. Board members noted another aborted logo change, when the middle school abandoned the NFL’s Raiders, before the school embraced the Cubs for all grades around 1990.

The board took no action, as at least four board members felt that the subject needed more discussion.

Daryl Bradley, Ty Goetz and Mike Evans were presenting members of the committee that came up with the new design options.

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  • Better be careful here.....nothing looks more dated and silly in a few years than something that was meant to be "modern and trendy"! (everyone remember the sissified, cartoonish bear a few years back that athletes refused to put on their letter jackets, instead using the older, traditional bear). When it come to school 'class' and 'cool', tradition, history, honor, and reputation are what counts...and they shouldn't be messed with.

    -- Posted by Common Tater on Sat, May 9, 2020, at 10:05 PM
  • Also...it really doesn't seem to me that we should be making decisions about schools--or society in general--based on the mindset of someone in the public out there who can't distinguish between the programs of Monett and Michigan or Mizzou! (if there really is someone out there functioning at that level) :)

    -- Posted by Common Tater on Sun, May 10, 2020, at 9:04 PM
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