Junior Graphic Design Student Ethan Pollard Designs New Logo for Kane County Coroner's Office
(Elgin, IL - January 3, 2014) The official seal of the Kane County Coroner’s Office has likely gone unnoticed until now.
On Thursday, Kane County Coroner Rob Russell unveiled a new logo done by a student graphic artist that is intended to better visually communicate the responsibilities of the coroner as guardian of the deceased.
He said the old seal was modified by his predecessor to include the name of the late Charles West and the elements of symbolism he found were disconnected and difficult to interpret.
“I get the hand of God reaching out of the cloud and the scale of justice, but I don’t understand the purpose for a bundle of wheat,” he said.
Russell said he wanted to begin his second year in office with a seal that reflects the origins of an office that dates back to medieval times when noblemen served as the coroner, as well as something that speaks of today’s role of the office.
“It is part of our ongoing public education campaign to communicate the role of the coroner’s office,” he said.
The logo features a medieval knight kneeling before the headstone of a fallen countryman with his helmet removed out of respect for the deceased.
“The knight’s loyalty is unrivaled as he receives his directives from a higher authority ... he is the guardian of the deceased and forgotten,” Russell said. The logo has three Latin words that in English translation are “honor, truth and service.”
He said the design contains components to communicate a “modern role” as defined by state statute.
“The rays in the background suggest both a sunrise and sunset. We at the coroner’s office work around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.
“No matter when a death call comes in, day or night, weekends and holidays, and yes even Thanksgiving,” he said, referencing the recent emergency when the office’s freezer malfunctioned.
Russell said he recruited Ethan Pollard, a third-year graphic design student at Judson University in Elgin, because he is familiar with his work. He said the project was done pro bono and at no cost to taxpayers.
Pollard, 21, of St. Charles, said he began sketching concepts for the project six months ago with input from the coroner, but he also researched other office seals locally and abroad.
“I thought something like this could be around for years, so I had better get it right,” Pollard said.
This story originally appeared in the Courier News. You can also read about it in the Daily Herald.