CONTACT: Sarah Wahrenbrock                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                

310.450.8338 x70229                                         06 JUN 2014





The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is pleased to announce that it has a new logo!


Nearly a year ago, the district announced that it was launching a competition to develop an updated district logo to go along with a branding strategy that will communicate the core values of the organization.  


“The goal was to create a logo that conveyed our move to 21st Century learning and put a new emphasis on innovation,” commented Superintendent Sandra Lyon.  “As the district is now seeking donations from not only from parents, but also from corporate sponsors, it is an opportune time to brand ourselves as a forward-thinking district.” 


Additionally, the previous logo, while representing the district’s geographic location, did not contain the organization’s full name: Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.


SMMUSD called on all members of the community to submit original logo concept designs that were simple, easily replicable, and memorable. 


The contest asked that logo submissions embody SMMUSD’s mission statement: Extraordinary achievement for ALL students while simultaneously closing the achievement gap.  The logos also needed to exemplify the district’s core values:

  • Diversity
  • Arts and academics
  • Whole child: each child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged
  • Community, collaboration, forward thinking, and engagement


Logo concept submissions were due to the Superintendent’s Office by November 1, 2013. 


A volunteer panel of graphic design experts was established to judge the submissions and refine those initial concepts for further evaluation.  The final logo needed to be able to be reproduced in black and white, large and small.  The panel met over several months to narrow down and refine the submissions.  A final logo was decided upon and was revealed to the Board of Education at last night’s board meeting. 


The panel members were: Josh Freeman of FreeAssociates Marketing | Design | Advertising; Terry P. Graboski of Beck & Graboski Design Office; Ni Glynn of Greenmount Pike; Diane Kuntz, Creative Director of Diane Kuntz Design Studio; Susanne Manheimer, Owner + Creative Director of CRU smartdesign; Joven Orozco of We The Creative; and Bea Pomasanoff of Beatrice Pomasanoff Design.  Robin Gee from the City of Santa Monica’s CityTV division was instrumental in moving the logo development process forward. 


The original logo design, which served as inspiration for the final logo design, was submitted by Lawrence Gendron of Lawrence Gendron Design.  Terry P. Graboski was the professional graphic designer who refined the initial logo submission to produce the final logo.  Mr. Gendron’s and Mr. Graboski’s names will be featured prominently on materials related to the SMMUSD rebranding process.   


In regards to his logo concept submissions, Gendron explained, “I wanted to try and keep some of the feel of the current logo… and the interconnectivity, color scheme and playfulness is the foundation.  The notion of constructed letters; simple, playful, sturdy and interlocking seemed to make sense for the school.  It's a logo that is flexible.”


“When I saw the original submittal, I immediately saw in it a strong graphic image that could be developed,” remarked Graboski.  “The final logotype design that was produced incorporates those original building blocks and creates a strong brand for the district.  Each letter of the logotype is made up of individual parts and colors that, once assembled, overlap and interlock into a strong brand identity. It is a fitting metaphor for the diverse people and schools that make up the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The new identity will unify the look of the district and schools in all forms of media and communications.”





1651 16TH Street , Santa Monica , CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138