By Steve Vivona
Certain impressions of St. John's University will always endure
- that of an institution deeply rooted in the Vincentian tradition,
and committed to an affordable education for students (many of whom
were the first in their family to attend college). Synonymous with
New York City and all the richness it had to offer, St. John's
University sent its students out energized and ready to tackle
whatever life had in store for them.
St. John's is still that same vibrant community, but much has
changed. Out of a desire to see those changes reflected in the
proper light, the University administration established the Office
of Marketing and Communications. Charged with creating a
comprehensive marketing plan for the University, the Office
provides support to achieve Enrollment Management goals and enhance
the image and reputation of the University.
At its heart the brand process was designed to create a
single-minded identity for St. John's and establish both a visual
and verbal framework that best captures the essence of the
University's mission. To that end the University teamed with
BrandLogic, a Connecticut-based firm well versed in creating
branding strategies across various media.
Following a survey of various members of the University
community it was determined that St. John's needed to refresh its
image and convey a consistent message. New initiatives were begun
to create a single, uniform brand identity that tells the world who
we are and what we stand for.
One of the first steps in this process was crafting the
University's new positioning statement. The new positioning was not
about developing "tag lines" but about building awareness and
providing a distinctive promise that resonated with all the
University's constituencies. The positioning statement offers
concrete and sustainable ways of how the University brings its
mission and vision to life.
St. John's decided to revitalize its logo and give it a more
contemporary, stylized look. A graphically strengthened crest as
well as a type treatment of the University name in lower case that
is confident, differentiating and representative of the humility of
the Vincentian tradition distinguishes the new logo. The unique
punctuation symbolizes St. John's welcoming diversity and
A logo is only one part of a brand identity that stretches
across primary color palettes and select typefaces to present a
tone and message consistent across all communication efforts. While
still retaining the University's deeply held core values these
changes have only enhanced its reputation as a global, diverse
institution committed to academic excellence.
The Office of Marketing and Communications has implemented this
new initiative, beginning with the University's redesigned web
site, launched last July. Since then University communications have
reflected the new brand identity and positioning, including
stationery, forms, recruitment materials, advertising, signage,
campus vehicles and more.
Charged with ensuring consistency in message, tone and manner
for the University's refreshed image, the Office of Marketing and
Communications has hosted a series of presentations to assist
administrators, faculty and staff in understanding the brand
process and developing materials that reinforce this new identity.
These sessions are ongoing and have provided the University
community with the insight and perspective necessary to make this
These changes represent an important first step in the process.
Getting the word out, ensuring consistency, and assisting others
will help us deliver on the promise of this new initiative. In the
last decade St. John's has experienced a period of unprecedented
growth and unparalleled diversity and now is the time for us to
reflect that in everything we produce. This is an exciting
opportunity to build pride and appreciation for the great things
St. John's has to offer.