New university branding deemed elementary

By CHRISTINA CARAYANNOPOULOS
carayanc@mtmary.edu

CHRISTINA CARAYANNOPOULOS is a columnist and a student at Mount Mary University.

CHRISTINA CARAYANNOPOULOS is a columnist and a student at Mount Mary University.

This summer, along with Mount Mary’s official university status, came new branding. Included in the branding is a new slogan called “Mount Mary creates,” and a new look with bright colors, modern fonts and scribble marks on the school website, business cards and pamphlets. The new graphics fail to represent Mount Mary’s high standards and creativity.

Branding is a practice that allows a product to stand out among others like it. The idea is to establish Mount Mary in the public as a university that is advancing and in doing so, entice prospective students. The designs and marketing strategies were provided by an outside company called Stamats Communications. One of the strategies the company used was soliciting feedback from focus groups that included alumnae, staff and potential students in deciding which stylistic design elements should be used.

“We felt their [Stamats Communications’] expertise in higher education branding was a great match for Mount Mary,” said Dave Wegener, vice president of enrollment services.

However, after about a three-year process of research and focus groups conducted by Stamats Communications, the chosen design element that was printed on faculty business cards, school banners and the university’s website was the scribble mark.

The redesigned website conveys the impression that the designers were pressed for time. On the contrary, creating the website was a project that required 40-hour work weeks and ultimately took a year-and-a-half from start to finish, according to Wegener.

Although the new platform is empowering and has great potential, the visual representations seem poorly executed. However, the design elements are not permanent. Mount Mary should organize additional focus groups to allow more students and staff members to give stylistic input. The university should use on-campus talent in the development of new branding materials.

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