NSU Art Student Recreates State Logo To Incorporate Indigenous Roots


Sunday, February 23rd 2020, 11:14 pm
By: Erick Payne


When Northeastern State student Reuben Cain saw the state's new brand revealed to Oklahomans two weeks ago, he was disappointed.

Cain claimed the state isn't paying proper homage to its Native American roots.

"If I would have turned that into my graphic design professor, she would have told me to go back to the drawing board," Cain said.

Cain thought the state's logo, and "Imagine That" slogan more than 140 volunteers worked on, doesn't stand out.

Twitter user @TheMikeHarris inserted the state’s new slogan into 49 other stock images he said he found in a five-minute Google search.

Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell, who headed up the branding effort, replied to this tweet with "cute, but I like ours better."

"I know there are boondoggles in government, but this isn't one of them," Pinnell also tweeted.

"If you can't stand out from the crowd, how are people going to find you?" Cain said.

Cain said indigenous cultures across Oklahoma were inspiration for his design.

"It's a very rich history of native and indigenous cultures," Cain said.

The symbols, shapes and overall design is all mapped out and explained.

There are 39 stars for the state’s 39 tribes. The colors are for the state's red dirt, rivers and lakes, ancestors and people.

"Since it is representing all of Oklahoma, and not just the tourist and business side, but it needs to accurately represent that," Cain said.

Cain said his design is evolving because he is welcoming people’s feedback.

His version will not replace the logo the state recently unveiled, but he wanted to make a point.