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Creating the Perfect Meatball

Terrie Mann

To others, the striped, maroon circle is just a logo, but to those who work here, it’s “the meatball.” Looking like a red meatball, the logo represents our people and our priorities.

The EERC logo was designed by Terrie Mann, the former head of the Graphics Department. Around 1987, what had been known as the Energy Research Center had just merged with the North Dakota Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute. With that combination of entities came a new name: the Energy and Mineral Research Center (EMRC). Accordingly, a new name required a new logo. Terrie and two other Graphics Department artists were each tasked with designing a logo that represented the two missions of the Center. They presented their logos to a committee of managers, and Terrieā€™s was selected.

A lot of thought was put into the design of the logo. The inner portion of the logo is a stylized representation of the earth with its geologic strata. The strata lines continue horizontally across the entire circle, which represents the sun. While the sun and the earth symbolize the energy and mineral research that was done by the newly formed research center, the split in the logo designated that roughly two-thirds of the work consisted of energy research, and the new minerals mission occupied one-third. Ironically, the color of the logo was picked for a less symbolic reason. The maroon color came from the color of the blackout film used for photo development at the time.

The photo on the left shows the ERC logo before 1987. The photo on the right shows current logo after the redesign.

Although the logo has remained largely unchanged since 1987, it now represents more than a sun and strata lines. Over the years, the logo has also come to symbolize the philosophy that our people are the core of our company and our greatest asset.

1 thought on “Creating the Perfect Meatball”

  1. I love this post and worked with Terry Mann on all sorts of slides, posters, publication figures, etc. I think deep in her thinking was an emblem with multiple meanings including steam tubes in super heater or reheater systems of coal-fired boilers for energy production. At the time, EERC was buried in research related to solving ash deposition on such curved horizontal and vertical steam tubes and vertical supports.

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