20.12.11

MONEY WASTED ON IMITATION?

Cold Spring Shops is on record as not pleased with Northern Illinois University spending of money on taglines, branding initiatives, and a new trademark, particularly when five-gallon plastic buckets are strategically placed in the corridors of heavily used academic buildings, including the home of a theater department that developed Joan Allen and Dan Castellenata.  Information that arrived with the dossiers for a recent job search didn't change any minds here.  A great deal of effort went into creating "Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow" as the new tagline (contemporary usage; the traditional description is motto or blurb).

The dossiers included a number of letters from the University of Houston, and some of the departments must have been practicing economy, using letterheads with "Learning. Leading." as the bottom footer.  Houston spent several million bucks and five years coming up with this, back in 2000, and it has subsequently given way to "You Are The Pride."  The stylesheet doesn't specify what Houston spent on that new slogan, or why.  Presumably there is a presentation somewhere with all the design elements and bullet points justifying the change.  Further down in the stylesheet is a note restricting the use of what Houston calls the "interlocking UH mark," characterizing it as a "legacy graphic symbol" and prohibiting its placement "next to the university logotype."  That's a pity.  The legacy symbol looks like something a partnership of Herbert Matter and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association might have created, and Houston would not have been out of place registering the brand for use on the left hip, right hip, left shoulder, right shoulder, left cheek and right cheek.

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