After more than nine months of intensive consultation and design with its community, the Murray Bridge High School has today revealed its new contemporary visual branding elements.
The final logo design includes complementary imagery of the Murray River, a swan in flight and the initials 'MB' for Murray Bridge to form an iconic brand identity for the school.
The new motto is 'The Future is Ours', including direct Ngarrindjeri translation of 'Palai Namawi'.
This statement has been created to reflect the two strongest themes from school stakeholders - including growing students' personal pride and ownership of their educational goals, coupled with the school's position as a future-focused, community-driven learning institution.
The new logo, branding and motto correlates with the Year 7 students taking up their place in the high school next year for the first time.
Murray Bridge High School Principal Ruth Mussger said she had been overwhelmed by positive feedback on the new branding's development process and final outcome.
"We've been working behind the scenes on this project since early 2020, and I'm so pleased that we can now finally launch our school's new brand out into the community," Ms Mussger says.
"Last year, we heard from hundreds of students, staff, families, Ngarrindjeri leaders, community and more about what people wanted to see as part of the school's rebrand.
"What we heard was that the students wanted more ownership over the school's visual identity, while the community wanted to see a more modern look and feel that represented the school's recent innovations and growing value to the region.
"Positively, the vast majority of our school community also wanted to ensure the visual branding elements and language also represented the diverse cultures within our school community, while maintaining the same title and core colours."
Consultation on the design process, preferred inclusions and draft options reached more than 600 people, including small group workshops, online surveys, individual interviews and a final vote on preferences for the logo design and motto late last year.
Ms Mussger said that while the final logo icon may seem simple, the design concept and subtle inclusions that had gone into it to ensure it reflected the broad stakeholder consultation were exceptional.
"There's more to this logo than you might first realise and it was a significant challenge to include so much messaging into a simplified and iconic design style - which was the request of the students," she says.
"While at first glance people might simply see the letters 'M' and 'B' connected alongside one-another, a closer inspection shows off much more.
"Firstly, there's the flowing line of the Murray River, which quite intentionally runs through the mid-line of the design and representing our region's most iconic and important landmark - and an environment our whole community can connect to.
"Secondly, there is the image of a swan, spreading its wings in flight. This is influenced by the strong connection of the Ngarrindjeri people to their swan totem, while its position 'in-flight' also ensures a point of difference to other iconic swans we see around the region, and helps convey a message of aspiration for our students as it 'takes off' to a higher place."
Of equal importance is the school's new motto, 'The Future is Ours' and its Ngarrindjeri translation - Palai Namawi '. Both mottos have intentionally been given equal prominence on the branding suite, and will be used alongside one-another across all branding activity.
"Throughout consultation, our Ngarrindjeri community has reiterated the importance of keeping language in the school's new branding, noting the strength of connection and pride this gave our Aboriginal students each time they put on their uniform and walked through the school gates," Ms Mussger says.
"The direct translation to 'Palai Namawi' was chosen specifically by our school's Aboriginal leaders to provides a short, and easy-to-pronounce part of Ngarrindjeri language, which would make it more accessible to more people and once again provide another opportunity for connection across cultures within the school community."
To further support the school's respect and connection with the local Aboriginal culture an extra graphic element has also been drafted and is continuing to be refined in consultation with the school's Ngarrindjeri leaders.
The design creation has been guided by the school's Aboriginal staff, students and families - and supported by the whole school community. Created as complementary to the main logo, the element is envisaged to be used across various branding and will be most prominent around the collar of school uniform t-shirts.
It includes two long wavy lines to represent the strong Ngarrindjeri connection to the Murray River, and cross-hatching in between, which is the preferred style of design, as opposed to dots from other areas of Australia.
Ms Mussger says all of this work combined will provide a visual lift for our school in 2022 and beyond.
"The next 12 months are going to be huge for our school," she said
"Not only are we rebranding, but we're bringing in hundreds of new Year 7s to the high school, while expanding our facilities and academic offering quite dramatically.
The Department of Education and the SA Education Minister have now approved the rebrand elements, and first glimpses of it will be seen on both the school's digital portfolio, and the new building signage being constructed this year.
School uniforms, including the new branding are being designed now and will also be available to students and staff in 2022.