St. John’s University introduced a revitalized new brand and
graphic identity in June 2013—culminating a broad-based effort to
more effectively promote its distinctive strengths and the value of
a St. John’s education to its many constituents, including current
and prospective students, alumni and the broader community.
The new brand incorporates data and insights gleaned from a
yearlong research study conducted by the Office of Marketing and Communications and
SimpsonScarborough, a leader in higher education market research.
Begun in the summer of 2012, the University-wide effort targeted a
variety of audiences comprising more than 3,000 participants in
individual interviews, focus groups and surveys:
- Current undergraduate and graduate
- Prospective undergraduate and graduate students
- Faculty and staff
- Guidance counselors
- Administrators and faculty at peer institutions
Their input helped to identify current perceptions of and future
hopes for St. John’s. Participants answered these key questions:
What is the University’s image and reputation—both internally and
externally? What is it best known for? What are its perceived
strengths and weaknesses? How does it compare to competitors? What
attributes can St. John’s develop for an impactful, sustainable
image that distinguishes it from the competition?
The study generated clear, directional results to guide St.
John’s efforts, revealing the key attributes for which the
University is so widely known today:
St. John’s Today
- Supportive Environment
- New York City
The outcomes also provided a springboard to identify
characteristics that will distinguish the University as it moves
forward. Taking the effort to that next level, St. John’s partnered
with Creative Communication Associates (CCA) to develop a story
messaging platform and new graphic identity, expressed in the
following brand “chapters”:
St. John’s Tomorrow
- Academic Prestige without
- The Power of a Global City and a World Campus
- Success and Service
- New York City’s Team
- An Alumni Network that Opens Doors
These messages guided the creation of a new look and promotional
framework that capture the strength of the new St.
John’s—reaffirming its commitment to academics, its global vision
and the continuing relevance of its Vincentian mission to make the
world a better place. The brand also evokes the vigor of St. John’s
143-year heritage. For example, the brand reclaims the University’s
historic “SJU” abbreviation. The graphic identity also evokes
traditional elements of St. John’s visual identity, including
typography and the University crest.
The new visual identity is already refreshing University
communications, campus facilities and environmental graphics.
During the summer and fall of 2013, a number of kickoff events will
officially introduce students, faculty and staff, and alumni to the