The Tropolitan nameplate, otherwise known as the logo appearing on the front page, has been through several distinct, as well as minor, changes to get to the current contemporary style since the first publication of the Trop in 1931. The original design was simple, but in keeping up with the changing times, it now looks more contemporary and sophisticated.
“You know when your favorite foods get a new package and they say something like ‘New look, same great taste?’ That’s what we’re trying to do with the Trop,” said Zach Henson, a senior multimedia journalism major and editor-in-chief. “We want to deliver the same news values we have for almost 100 years, but stay modern in our design.”
According to Steve Stewart, an assistant professor of journalism, and the former advisor for The Tropolitan, an attractive flag helps a newspaper generate more readers like a trademark.
Stewart, who was the advisor for the Trop from August 2009-December 2018 recalls seeing multiple variations in the logo.
“I think it’s appropriate from time to time to update,” he said. “No newspaper that has been in business as long as the Trop would look the same today as it did ninety years ago.
“The change reminds them (the staff) that the Trop is a dynamic publication and it is changing in constructive way over a period of time.”
Robbyn Taylor, lecturer of journalism and communication studies, and the advisor of The Tropolitan, said the new look makes the student staff excited about new designs and endeavors.
“I hope that they look at it and feel fresh and new with a renewed spirit of interest in design and writing,” she said.
The logos are usually designed by students themselves. However, it was not until this newest edition that a professional helped design the logo.
“When I knew that I was coming on board and we started with the renovation, I thought it would be a good idea to have a fresh look and for the students to work on something together,” Taylor said.
Taylor said the idea of changing the logo came up over a conversation with a friend and he offered to help with designing a new logo. David Smith, a a Troy alumnus and graphic designer at “Get Personalized” from Tampa, Florida, decided to work on the Tropolitan logo as a gift to the paper.
“I think that the staff works so hard and they do things on a professional level, but maybe the readers don’t take them that seriously because they are students,” Taylor said. “I hope the look of a professionally designed logo may change the way people feel about the content itself.”
Henson said the main goal of the change is to make the readers want to pick up the newspaper when they see it in the newspaper stand.
Michael Wetzel, a Troy alumnus who worked on the Tropolitan staff in 1977 has over 40 years of experience in newsrooms.
“The Trop mast should not look like it came from the 1950s or 1970s,” Wetzel said “It should reflect the modern times the readers can identify with including modern typography and fonts.
“But at the end of the day the Trop will always be the publication put together by student journalists regardless of the logo. The content of the stories and the experience of students getting ink in their blood through the vessel of the Trop with the excitement of first-time bylines.”