After several weeks of sketches, designs and meetings California Watch has a new logo! The big, bold font paired with the watchful sun visualizes our commitment to investigative journalism and keeping a watchful eye over the people and issues that shape the state.

As designer of the California Watch logo, I was initially asked to submit some ideas about what the logo should look like. The proposed logos used a wide variety of layouts, both bold and understated fonts, and several icons, including an outline of the state, an eye, a pair of binoculars, a magnifying glass and a sun.

Almost immediately, the staff decided that Aharoni, the bold, yet modern font eventually used in the final logo, communicated our commitment to bold investigative journalism. The icon was a little more of a toss-up. Some of the icons, like the magnifying glass and the state were rejected for being too cliché and the eye was dismissed for being too similar to the current Center for Investigative Reporting logo.

The logo also had to scale well for our social networking pages on Twitter and Facebook.

Eventually we decided that the sun, which is symbolic of our watchdog role and to shining a bright light on topics and issues that have been previously shrouded in secrecy, encapsulated what we wanted to communicate to others. The sun also symbolized a ray of hope, which is what the best investigative journalism can be. Rather than simply pinpoint problems and walk away, California Watch wants to encourage a debate that can lead to better solutions.

Last week, we posted a few logo designs, including various iterations of the sun, on our blog and Facebook page and asked for your feedback. Some commenters asked why we limited the choices, but we were determined to use a particular font and wanted your feedback on what were our final choices for the logo. The comments helped shape our final selection and we thank you for your feedback.

The concept most everyone loved — both readers and our staff alike — included a “C” embedded inside the sun. The final result is an iconic logo that we believe best represents the goals and values of California Watch. Again, we thank you for being a part of this process and would love to hear any additional feedback you may have.

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