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University Relations

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July 5, 2005
Contact: David Johnston, University Relations, (785) 864-8871.

KU selects new institutional logo; on track to build visual identity system

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas today announced the selection of a new logo to join its familiar symbols the Jayhawk and university seal as the centerpiece of a new visual identity system.

"We wanted a logo that could represent KU's strong tradition and academic rigor, unify our schools and campuses, and endure for generations," said David Johnston, director of marketing. "We believe this customized KU in Trajan typeface, a strong but elegant mark, best satisfies these criteria."

Johnston said the new logo would serve as KU's institutional symbol, taking its place beside the highly recognizable Jayhawk and the formal university seal.

During July a "signature" -- the new logo combined with the university's full name -- will be finalized. Guidelines will be created specifying how and when the mark and signature, seal and Jayhawk should appear in campus, school and department names and on stationery and other formats.

Instructions for printing basics such as stationery and a "tool kit," containing the logo and signature for university departments to use, will be distributed at the start of the fall semester, beginning a phase-in process. Guidelines on Web, signage, merchandise and other elements of the system will follow.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway said he was pleased with the choice and the successful completion of this step in the process toward a new universitywide visual identity system.

"I look forward to unveiling the full visual identity system in the fall," said Hemenway. "Our ultimate goal is to have in place an effective, efficient system that all campuses, schools and departments can easily use and that will build on the strong reputation of the University of Kansas.

"This visual system, in conjunction with our integrated marketing effort, will align us with leading large public universities such as the universities of Oregon, Maryland and North Carolina and Arizona State University, who efficiently manage their visual communications and take seriously the task of telling their story to the public."

Four finalist marks were submitted to the university in May by the design firm LandreyMorrow following months of interviews, focus groups, and reviews of best practices among universities and images in KU archives.

Johnston said hundreds of designs, including symbols rooted in Kansas, traditional academic icons and KU campus landmarks, were considered. But all decisions led back to a focus on the letters "KU."

"We decided these letters not only best met our requirements but also best represented who we are to people across the entire country," he said.

Notices seeking reactions to the finalists went to faculty, staff, students, alumni and others. A KU Web site displaying the marks received more than 4,500 responses. That feedback, in addition to reactions from leadership groups representing key areas of the university, was forwarded to the administration. The chancellor made the final decision this week.

For more information, go to http://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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