Memo to OCP Gabbaim: this means war

This is my first weekend at Penn – as a local – since December 2010. And it was eventful. So eventful, in fact, that it has earned itself two, if not three, posts. Here is the first of two (or three).

My first week back at Penn (more specifically: Tuesday, 2/28), I attended a General Body Meeting of the Penn Environmental Group [PEG] – not because I plan to get back involved, but because its weekly email (yes, I’m still on the listserv) mentioned the group would be selling its most recent T-shirt.

I’m not a huge fan of T-shirt collecting for the sake of T-shirt collecting, but I was curious about one thing. And my curiosity paid off – PEG is still using the logo I designed after five years:

PEG is not the only organization that knows where it’s at. I was also pleased to note on Friday night that the venerable Divrei Beit Hillel continues to use my design in its header four years after I created it:

You might imagine I was also happy to discover that the logo I designed for the OCP is still in weekly use – in the announcements, in the newsletter – on pretty much everything.

You would be wrong.

Upon the ascension of Max Levy and Jacob Chefitz to the Gabbai’s throne in 2010, I sent them an email with the subject line May you use the OCP logo in good health, and the following attachment:

The email made clear that the above is the correct logo, and should be used under any and all circumstances. The response to my email confirmed that the message was internalized with the appropriate degree of gravity:

Your submission of a new “OCP Logo” was received and will be examined by the Gabbaim in the near future to determine whether or not it will be put into circulation.  We appreciate your contribution to the spiritual needs of this community.
Your friendly neighborhood Gabbaim,
Max Levy and Jacob Cheftiz

**NOTE: this is an automated response.
****NOTE: Your email will be archived and may be used for internal quality control checks or other forms of statistical analysis.  Any reproduction or distribution will remain anonymous.

So I can only describe my reaction as shock and dismay when I returned for a visit in late January of this year, only to discover that the incorrect logo remains in regular use.

Now, you’re probably wondering what precisely is wrong with the logo depicted above. So allow me to blow it up for you (alas, I am incapable of blowing it up in real life):


Compare this logo to the correct version, included far above – and be sure to take note of where the lions and Torah and pomegranates are in relation to where they should be. (Hint: they are not where they should be.)

So I sent the following message to the Gabbaim (now three):

It has come to my attention over the course of my visit to Penn that certain among you insist on perpetuating the bad OCP logo. This makes no sense to me. The bad OCP logo is so bad! Attached, you will find the good OCP logo. Please use it instead.

I am nothing if not persistent and repetitive.

The discussion that ensued was enlightening:

I would contend that the current form portrays a more holistic and 3 dimensional approach, giving depth to the logo and personality to the community. It shows that we are an open and welcoming place to people of all backgrounds, including them in the fold of our minyan like any other. It gives us character, and it would be an absolute travesty to rid ourselves of that. [-EA]

But by its conclusion, I believed the matter fully settled.

So it was with further shock and dismay that I showed up to Shotel-Dubin on Friday night to find the logo in a further state of mutilation and dismemberment (which I will not dignify with reproduction here [but I will link to for the benefit of those with a sense of morbid curiosity]).

Needless to say, I take this act of aggression as a declaration of war, and will respond with any and all measures I deem necessary.

Elan Ariel, consider yourself warned.

Special shoutout to Ariel Allon for his assistance in the above logo designs – and pretty much any design project I’ve undertaken ever.


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