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Boston Latin School drops Romulus and Remus in bid to make school logo look like every other school logo

Old and new Boston Latin School logos

Sumus Marketing.

The nation's oldest public school has replaced its old logo - which featured a representation of Romulus and Remus suckling at a wolf - with a 21st-century logo that features the current school building's facade and cupola but has no ties to the language for which the school is named, save the name of the school itself.

The Boston Latin School Association, which represents alumni and parents and raises funds for the school, explains the need for a new logo that shows the uniqueness of the school in a more modern, media-ready format:

The prominent placement of the 1635 founding date on top of the shield became an important feature to signify the unique status of the school in U.S. history. The radiating lines provide visual interest and reaffirm Latin School as a beacon of opportunity in education. The result is The Façade with Cupola logo that conveys the valuable history of Boston Latin School while remaining sleek and modern for ease of representation across all media channels.

The group adds its design firm "began the process with a competitive analysis of brand identities for Latin schools nationwide, local high schools, and those schools that feature a wolf as the team mascot."

In addition to the new logo, the design firm came up with a more stylized wolf's head to represent the BLS Wolfpack sports teams.

The association says the old logo will still be used on certain official school communications and diplomas "at the discretion of BLS/BLSA leadership."

Free tagging: 


Roman numerals going the way of cursive writing?

Next thing you know you'll tell me that all those years of Latin and Greek were for nothing.


The Superbowl will be next.

But I use Roman numerals a lot.


A developer in my neighborhood is using the roman numeral for the street address to brand his 17 unit building: LIVPleasant. More than a bit ironic, as folks will be living where no one has in quite sometime. It was a funeral home.

Just as The General Dummer School dumbed down to The General Academy, Boston Latin is dumbing itself to the same anodyne, ahistorical and just plain marketable and stupid empty name.

Maybe civilization is falling apart. On the other hand maybe it's about time.

Thank goodness for mortality.


Omnia mutantur, et nos cum illis mutamur. Sed quo usque tandem abutere, Daan, patientia nostra? In Latina scribas? Potes? Si non, quare in hoc modo ululas?



Ita, res mutant. Quae supra: quid vobis videtur?

It’s The Governor’s Academy, not The General Academy! And its original name was Dummer Academy, not The General Dummer School. You can see why they changed it... but Daan needs to check his facts. “Ahistorical,” indeed.

Just as The General Dummer School dumbed down to The General Academy...


As you say, it was Dummer Academy originally, from 1763 until the 1930's.

In the 30's it became Governor Dummer Academy (not General Dummer), and remained so until it became The Governor's Academy in the 21st Century.

the old logo looks kinda' perverted.

"For filth (I'm glad to say)
is in the eye of the beholder.

When correctly viewed,
Everything is lewd..."


I could tell you things about Peter Pan
And the Wizard of Oz
There's a dirty old man!



Genuflect, genuflect.

While walking down the street
A porcupine you meet
How'd you shake his hand when he says 'hi?'


If you see something sexual in two babies eating, I think that says more about you than anything else.


Can't have that!!

fair enuff but if i'm walking around union sq. and i see a baby feeding off a pitbull bitch; then, i'm calling department of youth services.


Graphics Design-wise, yeah you're right, it is a pretty nice logo. It's clean. It's distinctive. It works well in color or black-and-white. It conform beautifully to all the "rules" and "guidelines" decades of graphic design have learned in making a visually good-looking logo.

Yet, it is also "soulless". The logo may not conform to rules. It doesn't cleverly breaks the rules either. But the old logo is a reflection of how it been it's logo from a time before we figured out how to make pretty logo. So to change it should mean there's a good reason. But there isn't. The new logo looks nice, but by conforming to looking like how so many logos look today, it ironically takes way what makes it special. It makes it look just as corporate, soulless, and basic.

Context matters. Yeah, UH have a logo that similarly follow the same design principles. But it doesn't fall in that trap it is not an almost 400 year old institution that suppose to guided by principles of more lofty ideals.

At least they are still using the logo in certain situations. Which, depending on where, can work out pretty well. The new logo for memos and sport uniform type of stuff. The old logo for certain signs and diplomas.


... to the Romans and you’ll be laughed out of town.

SPQR after all.

As someone who works in BPS, it makes me so angry that this is a story right now. The fact that BLS has a team of parents dedicated to creating a new logo and releasing an explanation shows how disconnected this school is from the realities of this city.


As someone who went to this school in the early to mid 80's the school was just as disconnected. Probably more so then than now.

Boston Latin School Association. They're the fundraising arm of the school and even have their own employees.


It’s not a team of parents, it’s the BLSA (the nonprofit group solely dedicated to fundraising for the school) which has its own employees and manages the school’s $50 million endowment.


Some BPS elementary schools raise hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and Boston Latin School recently raised $53 million in its capital campaign. Schools with more affluent families and access to private funding use these funds to supplement the money that they get from the state and city, widening the equity gap among BPS schools. WOULD YOU SUPPORT CHANGING CURRENT PRIVATE FUNDRAISING PRACTICES IN BPS SCHOOLS TO MAKE THEM MORE EQUITABLE?



Why ask publicly elected City Councilors about changing private fundraising practices?

That private money goes into improving a single public school.

The BLSA is governed by bylaws dating back to the late 1800s that state that all funds raised by the BLSA are explicitly for BLS. As a 501c3 raising funds for a specific school with specific purposes, that money cannot be spent elsewhere. And so while it may be politically convenient to urge sharing, it can't.

I would think they could easily win in court.

At least Matt O’Malley isn't selling out BLS - sumus primi.

Omnis Vir Lupus. Mister au Magoo.

is using its money for? I thought money donated to BLSA was used for the good of the students and school. I don't think the new, bland logo helps the school or its students in any way. Why does the BLSA have anything to do with picking the school's logo? Shouldn't that be the decision of school itself or BPS?


"I thought money donated to BLSA was used for the good of the students and school. "

When I was at BLS in the early 70s, much of donated monies such as the so-called "loyalty fund" each student was required to give back then, went to then-headmaster Wilfred O"Leary's lavish dinners at the Harvard Club.


that's horrible bullshit. i feel sorry for the kids--the adults have sold them out to the bland world of eduwhores.

bland corporations, fucking us into submission from cradle to grave. but you at least don't have to goddamn love it so much.


Yes, it's terrible how the kids were 'sold out' by having sports, orchestra, theater, etc... thanks to a powerful fundraising operation.

Rage against the machine bro! You've solved it all!


I can see it now: "Boston Latin School is your path to career success! Learn how you can unlock your future by starting your application / credit check online today!" Not exactly befitting for the oldest public school in the country.

I think it has to do with the flat, monocolor design and the fact that light is emanating from a tower.


That's the bell.


Exactly ... the same culture that gave us “participation awards” and “no exceptionalism” gives us “just another High School logo” for the oldest, most exceptional public educational institution in the US.

When the City of Boston modernizes its seal, Harvard dumps “Veritas” and Yale modernizes “Urim v’Tumim” (the last two younger than Boston Latin School’s “Romulus & Remus”), then BLSA can argue for such a change ...

As for “The Boston Latin School Association ... explains the need for a new logo ... in a more modern, media-ready format”, how about a pdf of a high res image of R&R? Thank you, I’ll donate my sizable consulting fee to BLSA.

Graduate, BLS ‘66

Exceptional public high schools:


BLS is totally the best public high school in the City of Boston, and also the oldest in the country. Most exceptional in the US? Not by any measure. According to some, it's not even the best public high school in the Boston area anymore.


Considering kids have to have high test scores on the ISEE to get in, and continue to do well on tests such as MCAS and SAT, the low rate of success on AP tests represents poor quality instruction at the school.

Times have moved on since 1966. Other schools have too.

Yeah, no, the building should not be part of the logo. My wallet is now more firmly closed than before. As an alumnus I appreciate the intent of BLSA but its lack of connection to the rest of the Boston Public Schools is getting even worse and getting harder to ignore.



How much did it cost? Did someone's parent get the contract for the design?

'The association says the old logo will still be used on certain official school communications and diplomas "at the discretion of BLS/BLSA leadership."' Does that sentence hint that someone was dragged kicking and screaming into supporting this hideousity?

not art

I’m sure that somehow, somebody found a way to be offended by the old logo.

That was my first thought.

Unfair to lactating wolves!

It was offensive! That vile logo depicted a female wolf being drained of her precious bodily fluids, being used as an economic resource by two males, probably without her consent. Typical male predatory behavior.

Keep breasts sexualized, as they were intended to be!

A mother and her two offspring, shown as a paragon of excellence without a father figure in sight. The matriarchy strikes again.

(This is a joke comment. Don't @ me)

This is a crying shame. Same attitude that brought us everything we now hate about urban renewal in the 60s. Species of hubris and historical ignorance. Resist!

It was nice the Globe credited UHub in the story (really, not being sarcastic here), but I admit I especially love that story because it mentions Universal Hub and links to this story like five times because to prove its point about people being upset about the new logo, it relies exclusively on tweets that were either replies to my original tweet/link to this article or which linked to this article.