Trojan Mascot Needs Update
The Trojans are a pretty terrible mascot when you think about it.
The symbol has unpleasant connotations, to say the least. When people think about the Gilroy Mustangs, they think about the mustang, the American wild horse, a perfect representation of strength, grace, and freedom. Plus, Mustangs are a type of cool car.
What do people think of when they think about Trojans? When people think about the Milpitas Trojans, they think about the Trojans, a group of people who were eradicated because of both their own arrogance and a big, wooden horse; they’re famous for being utter losers. Meanwhile, a Trojan is both a type of computer virus and a condom brand, neither of which are things that many people, such as myself, would want to be associated with.
Not only that, the Trojans aren’t even uniquely awful. There are at least three other high schools in California with the Trojans as their mascot: University High School, Castro Valley High School, and Castle Park High School. In fact, University High School uses literally the exact same design for the Trojans as we do, except reversed and recolored.
Speaking of the design, the Trojan head, even from a purely aesthetic standpoint, is a poor choice of logo, especially when delving into graphic design. It lacks any type of symmetry and is completely unbalanced from top to bottom, making it extremely difficult to create a design around it. It does not conform to any kind of regular shape and thus should be phased out as a logo.
Aspiring graphic designers at MHS receive the opportunity to create such designs during the annual Trojan Olympics shirt design contest. It is important to note that even though the Trojan head is not actually required for the design, there is often still a desire from the designer to include something more than just words and basic shapes in a design. Unfortunately, designers are often encouraged to use the exact Trojan head mentioned earlier, and deviating from this norm, even for a different Trojan head, is often looked down on.
It is also often frowned upon to use a different Trojan head when creating a design, which can be both frustrating and confusing. There should be no problems with allowing students from the school to both pick and actually design the actual logo. Why has there been no contest for this?
As demonstrated here, several designs can often fall flat if the Trojan head is emphasized and embellished in the center of the design due to its asymmetry. As such, a workaround for those required to use it usually involves downsizing or intentionally minimizing the head, so as to draw attention away from its strange shape.
A simple Google image search reveals that schools all over the nation use the Trojan as well a the same stock image as we do to represent the Trojan mascot, including Daphne High School in Texas, Midlothian High School in Virgina, Findlay High School in Ohio, and Madison High School in Michigan. Considering that numerous other schools use the exact same head, it raises the question of MHS’s own individuality when compared to other schools with their own logos. What’s so special about a mascot representing Milpitas if it doesn’t represent Milpitas but instead, at least ten other schools? Shouldn’t a mascot have more meaning for what it represents?
Given that the Trojan is an unsuitable mascot in general, in the event the student body phases it out rather than redesign it, MHS should have a symbol more representative of its history, such as the Milpitas Monster. For those not in the know, the Milpitas Monster is a literal garbage monster from a locally famous movie made in 1973 by students of Milpitas.
Unlike the Trojan, the Milpitas Monster would ironically have a less unsavory connotation than the Trojan. Nowadays, when a youth says, “Those guys are monsters,” he or she doesn’t mean to say that group of people is full of especially hideous or especially wicked people. Instead, the statement conveys the sense that “those guys” are a especially dominant in their skill of choice, be it athletics or academics, which I find altogether more agreeable than an association with condoms or computer viruses.
The Milpitas Monster would also be wholly unique to our high school, for it and the movie it comes from are products of the culture and the students of our city. Because of this uniqueness, we of MHS could design and choose a logo for ourselves. Any design, should it preserve the spirit of Milpitas, would be much better than the cold and lifeless stock image of a Trojan the school uses now.