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The GOSSIP

Number 203 / October 2008

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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designed for the trip to Sweden a few years ago that he continues to use (far left). This has a simple motif of a canoe, a paddle and a sail, without any text. DaveM has recently suggested that the Group should adopt a new flag and he submitted a colourful offering* (near left). This is too wordy for

a flag, but if he wishes to fly it, I won't object; particularly as he seems to be in an extreme minority when it comes to flag flying.

Dave's initiative started me thinking about logos, flags and things and whether we should make more of an effort to advertise the group and present a more visible public image. I'm sure many of you will recoil in horror at the thought of a "corporate identity", with logos appearing on badges, stickers, burgees, boats, tee shirts, tattoos and the like, but should we dismiss the idea out of hand?

The existing OCSG thing with the initials, canoe and wake (how many of you have actually scrutinised it closely?) is very elegant, having been designed by an art student, and is very good for some things, but not much good for many others. It certainly is not used that much and lacks impact. While Keith's burgee may be good as a burgee, it doesn't have anything to identify it as representing the OCSG (not sure about relevance of the paddle though since it is only an auxiliary power source - have you ever seen a yacht club burgee with crossed outboards or a Saab diesel on it?).

I suggest that anybody who has a strong opinion on the matter, a talent for design, or preferably both and who wishes to submit a design that can be used for purposes such as direction signs to meets, burgees and tee shirts, should do so. Obviously the aim is for an arresting image, but the style should be kept simple and probably only one colour on white (or vice versa), so that reproduction costs will be kept to a minimum. Another thing to bear in mind for a burgee or flag is that the image on one side is usually a mirror image of the other and this makes text a bit problematic. I propose that entries either be published in Gossip, or if we are overwhelmed by numbers, distributed by e-mail along with the Gossip so that people may vote for their favourite. If, on the other hand, we are underwhelmed, things can stay as they are, but I do hope there is sufficient interest and creative talent in the club to produce something that can give the group a bit more visibility and style.

*DaveM's flag will be displayed in next month's Gossip. [In the event, it never was, so it is included above. Further suggestions can be seen on his web-site. - Ed.]

I like Keith's simple burgee with the canoe, sail and paddle as I think it reminds people of the OCSG motto, "Sail when you can, paddle when you must". I also like Warin's design for the Bernard O'Connor trophy, which we have adopted as the header for Gossip. However, I do think a better logo is needed for other purposes, so let's see your ideas. Get out the felt-tipped pens and start doodling! - Ed.

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