JewishGen unveiled its new logo during this week's conference.
Here is the popular Jewish genealogy site's familiar tree logo. It illustrates the tree of life (etz chaim, in Hebrew) with the branches formed of the continents, illustrating the Jewish world. Over the years, it has appeared on buttons, pins, T-shirts and, of course, every page on Jewishgen:
During Wednesday evening's JewishGen presentation in a crowded ballroom, the audience did not seem impressed with the new green and blue stylized petal design - applauding at least twice in support of commenters displeased with the new logo:
The audience felt, according to comments voiced during the program and conversations following the session, that they - the JewishGenners (volunteers and users) - were the people who have made the site what it is today, providing research, translation and other essential, major contributions to JewishGen's growing resources.
I spoke with many attendees during the week. Without exception, they each consider themselves part of the JewishGen family, having contributed to the site's success since the early days. Most felt they should have been consulted in some way in advance of this major move.
During the week-long event, conference-goers were overheard many times voicing these and additional comments:
-- What is it supposed to be?
-- It has neither Jewish flavor nor genealogical connection.
-- It's graphically boring.
-- We wish we had been offered a choice.
-- The wisdom of disregarding a widely recognized, respected logo
What do you think of the new JewishGen logo?
Today is the last day to vote here . As of this morning (Sunday, August 24), the votes were running 62% for "horrible," against 14% for "great," and 22% for "OK." Unless my math is off - always a possibility - that means in the neighborhood of nearly two to one against the new design. For more insight, do read the growing comments on the topic when you vote.
How do I feel about it? I knew you were going to ask!
Personally, I feel that an occasional update of a venerable logo is not all bad - many major brands do this occasionally (think of Betty Crocker, the Morton Salt girl, the Gerber baby, even Aunt Jemima) as they try to make a more contemporary statement. However, I also believe that it is vital to retain essential recognizable and familiar elements of the original.
Perhaps a different color scheme, lighter background or a slightly more stylized tree might have been considered, instead of such a radically different design that removes all ta'am (flavor, Hebrew/Yiddish) from the well-known logo.
What's your view?