Steve Wallo, C.S. Lewis Academy's director of development and athletic director, wanted to change the school's logo pretty much since he stepped in the door of the nondenominational Christian school several years ago.
That desire eventually dovetailed with the assessment, made by Wallo and a few others, that the school wasn't fully leveraging the appeal and significance of its eponymous name.
The school enlisted George Fox University professor and graphic designer Jeff Cameron to craft a logo that would also properly convey the recent evolution of the school and represent its character, all while retaining its Watchmen nickname.
Cameron did all of that by crafting an Aslan-inspired lion that carries a burst of light from an outstretched paw in a reference both to the Watchmen and light as a symbol of Christian theology. Wallo said the burst of light was both the first thing he noticed and the key element in fusing all elements of the school into one image.
"That's what sold me on it, to be honest," Wallo said. "If it didn't have that, something would be missing."
The school will use the lion only as a mascot because it wanted to retain the uniqueness of its Watchmen nickname.
"When you go to Christian schools, you've got Saints, Eagles and Lions all over the place," Wallo said. "So we liked being different and I broached the board about our logo and mascot not having to be the same."
While most depictions of Aslan, the lion character from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," are head on and often too cartoonish for the logo's purpose, he praised Cameron for hitting the right note with his profile version.
"This is very elegant, it's very regal," Wallo said. "It looks cool. The distinctness of the lion itself sold me on that, that it's classy enough to be a representation of our school. You add that with the light burst and we felt great."
In late July, the school fully rolled out the logo and announced that it will begin phasing it into use across multiple channels, beginning with a banner and T-shirts that were displayed during the Old Fashioned Festival parade.
Wallo said the school had been using a logo that was intended to be temporary when its website was updated three or four years ago, but people at the school liked it enough to use it.
Cameron produced four different versions of the logo, including ones featuring the school's name, it's "Preparing Students for Life" motto, the Watchmen moniker for sports and "CSLA," to suit various uses.
"I put a lot of time doing research and coming up with something that would be easily recognizable and defining of who C.S. Lewis is and I think it accomplishes that," Cameron said.