Today’s announcement of a new university logo to accompany the tagline selected in December 2010 – “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow” – completes the research and design phase of NIU’s institutional brand identity.
Working hand-in-hand with the “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow” tagline, the trademarked logo is the visual component of NIU’s communications efforts to strategically convey a consistent institutional identity.
“The new logo and branding theme are basic tools necessary to position the university and guide its recruitment efforts throughout NIU’s service region, by far the nation’s most competitive market for college students,” said Kathy Buettner, Vice President for University Relations.
“Our new logo was not just an exercise in creativity, nor was it created in a vacuum,” Buettner said. “This is about competition. This is about recruitment. NIU must clearly define its promise to students, parents, guidance counselors, teachers and taxpayers, including its more than 220,000 alumni. The new logo and theme, ‘Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow,’ will help shape and steer our communications efforts in a consistent manner.”
President John Peters, who originally launched the branding effort, is pleased with the new logo and tagline.
“The Huskie Athletics logo has been so popular and well-received by our students, faculty, staff and alumni. I challenged the Branding and Marketing Committee and University Relations to develop a university logo that, when paired with the Huskie Athletics logo, would complete the image of this great university,” Peters said.
Buettner invited graphic artists from across campus in January to submit designs, which yielded more than 100 potential logos for consideration. The university also obtained submissions from the Pennsylvania-based Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co.
Members of the university’s Branding and Marketing Committee narrowed that number to 25, then to seven and finally to two. President Peters and the Senior Cabinet also provided valuable insight and advice during the process.
Like the tagline, the logo has been improved along the way from input and comments from stakeholders including current and prospective students, alumni, faculty and staff. “Over 3,400 people who care deeply about NIU have provided us with their opinions about various logo designs since we began this effort in January,” Peters said.
NIU’s Public Opinion Laboratory conducted a scientific survey via focus groups and the web.
The Division of University Relations also requested input on the final two logo designs via an NIU Today survey that drew 2,886 respondents, 42 percent of whom were students.
In both polls, the new logo was preferred by an overwhelming margin.
In the Public Opinion Lab survey, the new logo was favored 72 percent to 28 percent. (The positive percentages soared to 90 among current students and 88 among prospective students.)
In the NIU Today survey, 67 percent of respondents favored the new logo. “I feel comfortable that our stakeholders have had a chance to give us their feedback,” Buettner said. “This design is the most appealing to a great majority of people.”
The new logo will debut on the NIU homepage Monday, Aug. 15, and will be implemented across all websites using the NIU templates in Cascade Server beginning Sept. 1. Web Communications will notify clients when the change is scheduled to take effect on their websites. E-mail [email protected] for more information.
A preliminary graphic standards guide with rules for colors, fonts, spacing and sizing, use with the “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow” tagline and sub-branding is available online.
Considering the ongoing need for fiscal restraint, NIU units should continue to exhaust existing supplies of stationery, brochures and other print publications.
Meanwhile, effective immediately, NIU Document Services will print only the new logo on all new jobs, including re-orders of previous print jobs.
To help reduce the fiscal impact of implementing the new logo, Document Services is offering a slightly reduced price for new stationery print jobs that include:
- higher quality stationery with the logo embedded as a watermark.
- higher quality business card paper stock.
NIU units also will have access to an electronic version of the new stationery; users will visit the online storefront, choose the letterhead design that best suits their needs and be able to paste their word content. Document Services will process the request, generate a PDF and e-mail it to the client.
Call (815) 753-1692 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.
A new University Communications Council is in formation and will begin working on sub-branding issues for divisions, colleges and departments in September.
The council will consist of:
- one communications/external relations/alumni coordinator from every college.
- select communications-related staff from University Relations, Advancement, Outreach and Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.
Buettner will chair the group. Brad Hoey, director of Communications & Marketing in the Division of University Relations, will serve as vice chair.