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Today, colleges and universities across the nation are facing greater competition in attracting and retaining quality students and faculty, securing financial resources, and communicating their mission and distinctives to their key audiences. Traditional recruitment, fundraising, and communication need to be more strategic and effective than ever before. As a result, there is an emerging interest among institutions of higher education to develop a strong ”brand” to help them become the top choice among their most important audiences. A brand is a word, phrase, visual image or a position an organization has adopted to convey its identity to internal and external audiences. What a college stands for, and aspires to be, is the best starting point for creating a strong and meaningful brand. The spiritual and academic commitments and distinctives of Messiah College have always contributed to its brand and are an essential part of the College’s visual identity.
II. Messiah College Visual Identity Goals & Objectives
The Visual Identity Team was tasked with the goal of developing a graphic icon to be used in conjunction with the existing wordmark as a new logo that would communicate the academic and spiritual distinctives of the College. Effectively strengthening the brand (spiritual and academic distinctives) of Messiah College requires a consistent and institutional approach to the use of the new logo. The tier system as described below was approved by the College Council in March 2002 to help strengthen the Messiah College brand.
III. The Tier System
A. Tier 1: Strongest Messiah College Identity
The overwhelming majority of the entities on campus are represented visually by the Messiah College logo, customized to the name of their individual entity (see examples below). This includes the following entities in addition to any entity that has not been granted an exception under Tier 2 or Tier 3:
Tier 1 entities include:
Tier 1 entities are highly visible and have an immediate and powerful opportunity to strengthen the spiritual and academic distinctives of Messiah College.
B. Tier 2: “Grandfathered” Exceptions (with the exception of Tier 1 entities)
The Visual Identity Team recognizes and affirms the significance of certain logos that currently exist on campus. These entities have unique cultural or historical significance, funding provisions, or have established a strong identity with certain key audiences. Therefore, these entities are considered “grandfathered” exceptions, enabling them to continue to use their existing logos and/or wordmarks. However, to demonstrate a close connection to Messiah College, the College’s logo must also appear on its stationery package and all promotional/communications materials. If a Tier 2 entity does not currently have letterhead, they must use the College’s Tier 1 letterhead design.
The following list of Tier 2 entities is intended to be exhaustive. As a result, if an entity is not listed and does not meet the Tier 3 exception, it will be considered a Tier 1 entity. Questions regarding the comprehensiveness of the list should be directed to the Director of Publications, who will consult with the Chair of the Visual Identity Team.
Tier 2 entities include:
• Agape Center for Service and Learning
• Auginbaugh Art Gallery
• Early Learning Center
• Falcon Express
• Friends of the Library
• Genesis Solar Racing Team
• Issachar’s Loft
• Life Groups
• Messiah College Cultural Series
• Messiah College Choral Arts Society
• New Light
• Nursing Department Seal
• Outreach Teams
• Service Teams
• Summer Dinner Concerts
• Summer Service & Missions
• Susquehanna Valley Lyceum
• The Annex
• The Boyer Center
• The Alley
• The Oakes Museum
• Wilbur’s Café
• World Christian Fellowship
• WVMM-FM, The “V”
Please Note: The Visual Identity Team strongly encourages “Tier 2” entities to transition to the new logo because it would further strengthen the brand (spiritual and academic distinctives), visibility, and name recognition of Messiah College.
C. Tier 3 Student-Funded Clubs & Organizations
Due to their nature and frequent changes in leadership, student clubs or student organizations recognized by Messiah College and funded primarily by students may use their own logos when communicating with an on-campus audience. When communicating off campus, they must use either the College’s logo, or the phrase “A Student Organization of Messiah College” in conjunction with their individual logos.
Decision Making Process for New Logos
The Visual Identity Team is comprised of a diverse group of faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as an alumna and a student of Messiah College. The Team has invested many hours discussing Messiah’s approach to branding. Research, focus group observation, surveys, and campus forums guided this discussion. As a result, the Team endorses a consistent and institutional approach to the use of the College logo because it will strengthen Messiah’s brand.
In order to maximize the strength of the College’s name and reputation, the number of new logos created for individual entities will be limited. The College’s name and reputation are strong, and as such they are an asset to entities on campus, a fact that reduces or eliminates the need for individual departmental logos. Any entity wishing to develop a new logo must first receive the approval of its respective senior administrator. Once the senior administrator approves the entity’s proposed logo, the senior administrator will then forward the request to the Chair of the Visual Identity Team. The Visual Identity Team will use the following “Basis for Appeals” to evaluate the proposed logo. The team’s decision regarding the proposed logo will be returned to the senior administrator. If the senior administrator decides to appeal the decision of the Visual Identity Team, the matter will be forwarded to the College Council. The decision of the College Council will be final.
Basis for Appeals
Possible basis for appeal must include an affirmative response to the majority of the following questions:
and promotions/communications materials.