Updated logo to reflect 'changing' university
Published: Monday, February 8, 2010
Updated: Monday, February 8, 2010 10:02
As students have noticed, the university has gone through a bit of a change. Throughout the winter break the university slowly integrated a new branding program to the school, which included updated logos and a newly designed Web site.
The university has a new logo, a new university seal and a sports logo, which were unveiled before the end of the 2009 fall semester.
Lesley Slavitt, vice president of Government Relations and University Outreach, said they decided to unveil the new branding program at the beginning of the spring semester in order to create excitement for the upcoming semester.
"It was a combination of things," Slavitt said. "We thought it was a time for excitement with the new semester and we want to come back and celebrate the university."
In an interview with President Middleton, he said that although he was not on the committee that selected the company that would design the new branding program, he said the committee looks for vendors that "have a degree of talent, creativity, imagination and successful previous experience." He also added that the university considers cost and looks for "women and minority owned businesses." The university went with Studio Blue, a woman-owned company, to design the branding program; according to the company's Web site it was selected to design brand tools for the university in July 2009.
When talking about the logo Middleton said, "we spent about half a year or more with focus groups asking people what they thought about the university. Out of that then came these concepts of modernity, changing and forward looking, always striving for excellence."
Middleton said that the ‘R' in the new logo "is like a ribbon. It's reflective of a type of seamless, continuance, changing nature of the university. It's always changing." Middleton also said that one of the new look's goals is to gain more attention toward the university: "we're trying to get visibility in a crowded market place."
Middleton said the university wants "something someone will take a second, third and fourth look at and say ‘what's that?'" and referred to other schools' logos such as the "big ‘M' for Michigan and the ‘ND' for Notre Dame."
Slavitt said, "We are hoping over time people will see the main ‘R' logo and immediately associate it with this institution."
Over winter break the university slowly began the transition of swapping out old logo's for the new ones.
Michael Kaluzny, director of Strategy and Planning, said that although he has swapped out over 75 pieces of the old logo throughout the university, it's still an ongoing process.
Kaluzny went on to say that some of the changes were as subtle as replacing small signs in the Auditorium Building to changing the logo title at the Schaumburg campus.
One of the most noticeable changes to the university is the complete overhaul of its Web site.
The design for the Web site had gone through a number of designs that were looked at and tested. Slavitt said they garnered information from several key audiences and stakeholders of the university in order to determine what the new Web site needed.
"We asked people what information they needed from the web and what presentation was useful to them," Slavitt said. "It wasn't just an issue of the creative execution or what it looked like, but also a matter of functionality and how it works."
But some students are finding problems with the Web site, saying that most sections of the Web site are hard to locate.
Caitlin Strandquist, English major, said locating old functions of the Web site has been difficult.
"When I'm trying to log in to RU Access to check the status of my financial aid and I'm not able to because it's being redesigned, to say it angers me would be a massive understatement," Strandquist said.
Slavitt said students should be patient with the new site because its full conversion will be a gradual process.
"A traditional [Web site] migration usually takes three years, but we are hoping to do ours in 18 months," Slavitt said.
If students have a problem navigating the new Web site, Middleton recommended that students contact the university and express what problems they're having.
Jonathan Martinez, journalism major, said he likes the new Web site and logo: "The new logo is great, I wasn't a fan of the old boring one."
Additional reporting by Cassandra Dowell Editor-in-Chief