With a new logo and a newer mascot, the College of William and Mary is focusing on establishing a new brand for the green and gold.
Currently, the Visual Identity Committee is taking an inventory of all logos in use. As they enter the next semester, committee members hope to consolidate this number. The committee plans to reach these goals by the end of the 2012 school year.
Most colleges and universities have one consistent logo to represent them. The College has over twelve trademarked logos, as well as many other unofficial logos, marks and art, with each representing significantly different aspects of the College.
In a memo issued in August, College President Taylor Reveley addressed the College’s lack of guidance when it comes to logos, marks, mascots and other such elements that contribute to the school’s identity. That same month, Reveley formed the Visual Identity Committee in an effort to unify all public visual representations of the College.
The committee’s main purpose is to examine how best to use the College’s existing visual elements and to create an engaging visual image for the university. Another goal of the committee is to create an easily accessible website showcasing effective visual elements for the College community.
Although the committee’s goal is to consolidate the College’s visual identity, some students say they appreciate the abundance of ways they can show their school spirit.
“I like all the logos,” Deniz Oran ’14 said. “There are many ways of expressing Tribe Pride, so you’re not overwhelmed by the repetition of one single logo.”
The creation and introduction of a new logo can take years, due to the fact that the logos appear in many aspects of campus life. The Visual Identity Committee currently does not plan to create a new logo for the College, but it does hope to unify the College’s current symbols.
“Every time someone uses a logo or graphic, we have the opportunity to make William and Mary look great or look not so great,” Susan Evans, the committee’s creative services chair, said. “That is why this really does matter. This process is a lot more complicated than it looks. It’s not just the logos in use, but how they are used.”
This committee’s mission is a part of the College’s Strategic Plan, an effort to explain and promote the College through a more effective communications structure and a common identity. The College hopes that a more coherent expression of visual identity will promote the overall appeal of the College to the outside community.
“Identity is one of those things where you only recognize it if it’s not done well,” Evans said.
The committee has researched the visual identity of many other universities, including the University of Virginia, Cornell University and Princeton University, to gain insight on how effective logos can market an institution.
“What really attracts the best William and Mary students is the brand that is William and Mary, and the logo supports this brand,” Evans said. “That brand can attract the best students, the best faculty, and the best staff.”