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University Relations

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Feb. 7, 2005
Contact: David Johnston, director of marketing, (785) 864-8871.

No more inconsistency: KU specifies the official 'KU blue'

LAWRENCE -- Jayhawk fans will have a simple answer the next time they're asked to describe the official "KU blue" of the University of Kansas: It's royal.

The university today began notifying its campuses and offices, as well as apparel vendors and printers, that from now on "Big Blue" is royal blue.

" For years, we've seen an assortment of blues, from navy to light blue, on everything from KU sports uniforms to Jayhawk stickers," said David Johnston, KU director of marketing. "But the time has come to rally around one true KU blue."

Johnston, who is heading up the university's integrated marketing effort, gathered reactions from online surveys and focus groups of students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

" They told us that royal blue was favored hands down," he said.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway made it official this week, after reviewing a proposal with Kevin Corbett, president of the KU Alumni Association; Lew Perkins, KU athletics director; Dale Seuferling, president of the KU Endowment Association; and Paul Carttar, executive vice chancellor for external affairs.

Designating KU's blue is an initial step in a cohesive KU visual identity system, itself an element of an overall integrated marketing plan for the university and its campuses in Lawrence, Kansas City, Wichita and Overland Park.

" The marketing plan is based on the premise that our collective efforts are more efficient and better served when we're consistent in our communications, and that includes how we use color," said Johnston. "Public and private universities, as well as corporate leaders like IBM, Sprint and John Deere, recognize that consistency is a basic component to a strong identity and effective marketing."

The visual identity system -- containing standards and full technical specifications for official KU marks, typography and colors -- will be unveiled later in the spring. Campus units will be allowed to phase in the new color and type standards to ensure that inventory is used efficiently.

For more information, go to the KU marketing Web site, www.ur.ku.edu/marketing.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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