Thousands of "irate" Florida State fans "flooded social media sites and Internet message boards Wednesday and Thursday when the redesigned Seminole head logo was leaked following a premature shipment to a retailer," according to a front-page piece by Ira Schoffel of the TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT. More than 5,200 fans by Thursday evening had "signed an online petition demanding that FSU stick with the 'traditional classic design or [they] will not purchase (merchandise).'" Others "formed groups on Facebook, such as 'Save the Florida State logo,' which had been given a thumbs-up by more than 6,000." The FSU athletics department in a statement on Thursday described the changes as "a 'refinement' of the existing logo -- one that was deemed necessary because of confusion surrounding the school’s primary symbol and also the challenge of reproducing the existing Seminole head." FSU officials previously "hinted at a logo change through recent promotional videos" with the theme "Ignition Tradition." The videos "promised a release date on April 11 -- one day before the football team’s annual spring game." A school spokesperson said that release date "won't change because of the leak." Schoffel wrote the changes "are not dramatic." Some facial were altered in the logo,"including a more defined ear and the addition of teeth, and the words 'Florida State' were removed from the feather." That lettering "was apparently a major headache when it came to embroidery and other reproductions, which the university explained was why the logo had seen diminished use in recent years." The school's statement said that the new logo, which "will be used more prominently, has been approved by the Seminole Tribe of Florida" (TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, 4/4). In Orlando, George Diaz wrote of the logo change, "The university muck-mucks have taken an iconic brand and turned it into a joke." The new logo "looks like some drunken fool with a bad haircut who decided to get some face paint after going on a fraternity row bender" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 4/3).
FAN BECOMES REPORTER: In Orlando, Brendan Sonnone reported the logo leaked when a fan "snapped a picture of a FSU T-shirt at Walmart on Wednesday, and the design of the screaming Seminole head was noticeably different" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 4/3). The FLORIDA TIMES-UNION notes the fan who spotted the shirt at Walmart was "a Tomahawk Nation reader," referring to SB Nation's FSU blog (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/4).