Gannett chief marketing officer Maryam Banikarim sent a memo to employees this morning with USA Today artist/illustrator Sam Ward’s explanation of his paper’s new logo and “cool balls.”
“Just what are our balls? Well, they are what we will make of them. I believe our balls are symbols of who we are and where we’re headed. They are not stories, graphics, or illustrations. They are signposts, perhaps; reminders that offer inroads into America’s stream of consciousness. …
“Sure, our competitors will laugh. Let them laugh so hard that they cannot breathe. We should really only be interested in what the readers think. Yes, there may be a few laughing readers too, but not for long. Readers will come to enjoy “the show.”
From: A message from Maryam Banikarim
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 9:52 AM
Subject: Cool Balls
As I mentioned yesterday at the USA TODAY employee presentation, with Sam’s permission, I’d like to share his full note regarding our new logo and getting our mojo back….
Cool Balls by Sam Ward
I have a dream . . . that one day all Americans will join hands and declare their undying love for our balls; our spheres of influence, our behaviors, or whatever one chooses to call them.
Actually, and perhaps with an air of creepiness, I DID have a dream about this very topic. I dreamt that people all over the place were talking about the images in USA TODAY’s balls. It was creating quite a stir; which, if we do our job right, shouldn’t be far from the truth.
Whenever anyone steps outside the boundaries of the box it will create a stir. In fact, nothing good can be created without stepping outside the box. No, let me rephrase that; nothing can be created at all without stepping outside the box. Our balls could be our boldest statement; our chance to engage readers on a level that we currently are not doing.