A new logo was recently drawn for Berkeley High School (BHS) by the name of Jac, and it has received mixed reviews from the student body. The logo depicts a yellow jacket with a muscular and bulging head, antennae folded over, face drawn into a sneer, and its arms in a position as if it’s about to run.
The original logo was designed by the university Georgia Institute of Technology in 1972, as was the BHS mascot named Buzz, who first appeared at Georgia Tech in 1980. Reportedly, Georgia Tech threatened to sue BHS, prompting the change in logo. According to John Villavicencio, the head of student activities at BHS, there was “an actual lawsuit for copyright infringement of the Georgia Tech yellow jacket design.”
This would not be the first time Georgia Tech has sued another entity over its mascot. In 2001, Georgia Tech won a lawsuit against a minor league baseball team, the Salt Lake City Bees, who were at the time called the Salt Lake City Buzz, and forced them to change their name and logo. The lawsuit lasted three years and cost the university hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, whether or not the lawsuit is the definitive end for BHS’s original mascot remains to be seen. The athletic directors at BHS claim that there was “no official logo change.” It is important to note that the logo of both the BHS website and athletics department website have changed from Buzz to Jac and that no Buzz themed merch is available for purchase.
The company that designed this logo is Brandtank, a company that worked with companies such as Yahoo, Microsoft, and Bank of America. According to the Brandtank website, the company designed the logo to be a composite of the two existing logos. It takes elements of the “cute” logo, the one stolen from Georgia Tech, and the “scary” logo, the one with “Go Jackets” written on the outside.
The new logo has proved divisive in the BHS community. @Bhs_memes_, a popular BHS Instagram account, unleashed a series of memes telling the school to “#bringbackbuzz” and challenging Georgia Tech to a football match, citing the past wins of the BHS football team.
It should be noted that since there was no official logo change, it is likely that Buzz will continue to be in operation across campus. Elijah Gibbs, a sophomore and member of the BHS frisbee team, said that he thinks “the head is much too big for the proportions of the body of the yellow jacket.” However, the BHS athletic directors defended the logo by simply stating, “We like it.”