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Epitaph for a logo: A book gives way to a sword

The logo on the left was used for the Arizona Attorney General's Office from 1992-2015. The new logo on the right was introduced this year.

The logo on the left was used for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office from 1992-2015. The new logo on the right was introduced on May 29, 2015.

I feel I must write an epitaph for a pro bono logo I designed in 1992.

On Friday, the Office of the Arizona Attorney General announced the rollout of a new seal.

I’m quite certain no one at the office remembers when or who designed the old one, citing “many years” since a “significant update,” but it was me.

I remember working on the old seal with Grant Woods. As seals go, a 23-year untouched run is pretty good. For that, I am grateful. Designers will appreciate that I used Adobe Illustrator 88 to design the seal, the very first version of Adobe Illustrator that revolutionized our trade. Talk about “way back!”

Cynthia Weiss

Cynthia Weiss

I remember the importance and iconography of every aspect of the old seal, especially Lady Justice with the blindfold, the tagline, and the border pattern that honored our state heritage. I must have sketched 30 different patterns before we decided on the one to be used.

I remember seeing her on the backdrop every time Tom Horne gave a press conference, and I was comforted by her presence watching over the office.

I’m not bitter about the change, just highly observant. As fate would have it, the book has been replaced by the sword. We all know that never ends well.

Ironically, I also carry a sword of sorts now, all these years later, as a mom and governing board member, working tirelessly pro bono to support and protect Arizona’s classrooms – and feeling a bit adversarial toward an AG’s Office that seems disinterested in upholding the will of the voters and the Arizona constitution that promised an equal and ever-improving education system for our youngsters.

With maturity, I have learned that justice is hardly blind. It is bent, and only through our individual actions and involvement can we uphold the scales of justice.

To everything there is a season.

Even though Lady Justice of the old seal no longer watches over the Attorney General’s office, I still do.

We all must.

-Cynthia Weiss, among other activities, is a member of the Cave Creek Unified School District governing board.

5 comments

  1. Warren Woodward

    You did a fine job on that seal, Cynthia Weiss.

    It is sadly appropriate that not only has blind justice now been removed but also the words, “Justice for All.” And not only has the book been replaced by a sword, but that sword is running straight through the heart of the state. The new seal is a horror story.

  2. Lots of symbolism in this new logo (a septagram?). Curious, who gets to decide on official state seals and logos? Seems pretty random that the Attorney General in office can make that decision without some level of approval.

  3. A … S W O R D … really?! With all the bloodletting that has gone on in the deserts of the Middle-East, to bring such an image to any state in America, is an abomination…a throwback to the Dark Ages.

  4. A very troubling “seal” (logo) for a state Attorney General’s Office. Certainly, not the oath of a prosecutor, whose duty is to seek fair justice for ALL. Are we declaring war against the people, who are to be presumed innocent?

    “Live by the Sword, Die by Sword”

    “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Matthew 26:52, King James Version)

  5. … then the “star” Use in modern occultism[edit]

    A goat’s head inscribed in a downward-pointing pentagram, from La Clef de la Magie Noire by Stanislas de Guaita (1897).
    Based on Renaissance-era occultism, the pentagram found its way into the symbolism of modern occultists.

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