What’s black and blue with a pop of red? Superior Middle School’s new logo.

The design, featuring a youthful Spartan surrounded by circles of red and black, was created by seventh grader Lila Gucinski. She unveiled a sign of the new logo in the middle school office Wednesday, Feb. 10.

“It’s really cool,” said Gucinski, 12.

The school launched a contest to find a new logo this fall, which included all students whether they were attending school in a hybrid model or virtually, said family engagement coordinator LeAnn Egnash.

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Seventh grader Lila Gucinski looks up at the logo she designed for Superior Middle School in the main office Wednesday, Feb. 10.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Seventh grader Lila Gucinski looks up at the logo she designed for Superior Middle School in the main office Wednesday, Feb. 10. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

About 30 students submitted designs. Administrators narrowed the field down to four, and sent out a Google form for students to vote for their favorite. Gucinski’s modern take on the logo stood out head and shoulders above the rest in survey results.

“It was like a landslide. I’d say 70% of the votes were for her design,” Egnash said.

Gucinski decided to enter the contest because she loves to draw. Her concept was based on Superior High School’s mascot, the Spartan.

“The original logo didn’t have any Spartan, so I just really wanted to put in a Spartan, and I loved how some of the Spartan stuff had red, so I wanted to add in some of that,” Gucinski said.

It took her about two hours to put the design together. Because she missed the Google voting form, the seventh grader didn’t even know she was a finalist. When Egnash revealed she was the winner, Gucinski was surprised.

“It was in the middle of my language arts class, and I was so excited, my face was completely red,” she said.

Although students were given free range to come up with a mascot for the design, many of the entries focused on the Spartan.

Seventh grader Lila Gucinski pulls down a sheet of paper to reveal the logo she designed for Superior Middle School in the school's main office Wednesday, Feb. 10.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Seventh grader Lila Gucinski pulls down a sheet of paper to reveal the logo she designed for Superior Middle School in the school's main office Wednesday, Feb. 10. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

The middle school Spartan is a younger version of the Superior High School mascot. He lost a number of age lines in the transition from digital design to three-dimensional sign. Sign maker and graphic artist Kris Lundgren, who owns Cricket Signs, turned the digital image from pixels into a line drawing so machines could cut pieces out of three separate materials. She said Gucinski’s concept was wonderful and needed just a few tweaks.

It fit, Egnash said, because he’s in middle school and he’s not as old.

“It’s a little different than the high school," Egnash said.

Gucinski’s design will represent the school on digital platforms and email signatures, as well as school letterhead, signs and apparel. The school’s Parent Teacher Student Association will be putting in a spirit wear order this spring. The items will all feature Gucinski’s design.

“It turned out really awesome,” said SMS principal Dave Jensen. “I can’t wait to get a sweatshirt made with that on it.”

The announcement of the new logo caught the attention of Myles Nelson of Duluth. The 30-year-old created the previous middle school logo when he was a sixth grader at Cooper Elementary School in 2002. Like Gucinski’s piece, Nelson designed the logo as part of a student contest. It’s been used to represent the middle school since it opened in 2003.

“Seeing the middle school get the new logo kind of makes me feel old, but in a good way,” said Nelson, a maintenance mechanic at Cirrus Aircraft. “I liked to see the new logo keep the lettering of the SMS right in the middle like that.”

School officials expect the new logo to represent SMS for many years to come.

The old Superior Middle School logo, which has been in use since the school opened in 2003, will be phased out and replaced with a new logo designed by seventh grader Lila Gucinski. (Graphic courtesy of the Superior School District)
The old Superior Middle School logo, which has been in use since the school opened in 2003, will be phased out and replaced with a new logo designed by seventh grader Lila Gucinski. (Graphic courtesy of the Superior School District)

This story originally contained a misspelling of LeAnn Egnash's name, and an incorrect job title. It was updated at 2:09 p.m. Feb. 11 with the proper information. The Telegram regrets the error.