New Identity System Gives IUP Fresh Look

Posted on 8/25/2008 12:01:53 PM

New efforts in marketing and recruitment have led to a formalized system of graphic standards for IUP, but rather than pitch out the old logos and other identifiers, staff members in the Communications Office have provided a new look for the traditional logo that they hope catches attention.

“We have to have a visual identity that provides consistency. Without consistency, our messages won’t stand out among the more than three thousand messages our audiences receive every day,” John Veilleux, associate vice president for Communications and Community Relations, said. “A major key to building awareness is building familiarity. We want people to say, ‘Hey, that’s IUP!’ After reviewing our media products of the recent past, I see great opportunity to significantly improve our efforts in this area.”

Developed by Art Director Ronald Mabon and David Raymond, a 1999 graduate of IUP’s Art Department who recently joined the Communications Office staff, the new system of identity standards covers everything from recruitment materials, stationery, and business cards to various advertising media and apparel.

Mabon said the traditional IUP logo, which has served as a standard identifier for the university since 1986, has what the Communications staff believes to be a great deal of equity with alumni and student audiences, but alone it lacks character. The solution, he and Raymond agreed, was to add an element to it, informally called the wave, which gives it a more memorable quality and motion.

“The IUP logo still exists,” Raymond said. “Too many people identify with it to drop it, but it is so blocky—and vertical and static. Dropping it into a container as we have gives it a dynamic quality it lacked before.”

Raymond also developed a larger wave to employ as a design theme throughout entire communications pieces. 

“It lends itself to limitless innovations,” he said. “This allows us to adapt the look and feel across the university in ways that give individual colleges an identity that is set apart from others, while still leveraging a single university identity.”

Another addition is the soaring hawk mark, designed to put the “beyond expectations” tagline into context.

“Whether you play sports or you participate in research or you do public service at IUP, you’re a hawk. We’re all hawks,” Veilleux said. “Many people across the campus community have expressed to me that the ‘beyond expectations’ tagline was vague. The addition of the soaring hawk with the tagline serving as a faux horizon provides a visual interpretation that clears up this ambiguity. That is good not only for our internal audiences, but our external audiences as well.”

Despite the addition of new elements, Veilleux said the family of marks developed last year with the introduction of a new mascot will not be retired. Rather, they are being reserved for the specific use of promoting IUP’s athletics program.

Veilleux said the entire graphic standards manual will be on line on the Office of Communications website by August 24 (select for the IUP Graphic Identity Standards Manual). To ensure the new and existing marks are used properly, a series of training workshops will be offered to those who design their own media products and advertisements for the Penn. The first workshop is scheduled for Thursday, September 18, at 9 a.m. in the Hadley Union Building Susquehanna Room.  

He also said that supplies of stationery, envelopes, business cards, and other products should be depleted before offices and departments order new products with the new graphics. The IUP Printing Center has been given template designs for stationery products.

Inquiries about the workshop or about the graphic standards themselves may be sent to Stephanie Keppich, creative services manager, at