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Matt Sharkey

  • On-brand Webtools skins are here

    You may have seen an email about a week ago from Web Services, announcing the release of two new Webtools skins that incorporate our campus-wide brand standards. Take a look at the basic instructions for the skin here, and feel free to reach out to Web Services if you have any questions or issues using […]
  • Understanding our unit identity strategy

    Where’s my wordmark?? It’s a question we’ve heard many variations of in the past six months, and for good reason. We realize the shift is not a small one, but it is an important part of our brand strategy. In January we led a workshop on the topic. This blog post draws from that workshop, […]
  • Communicating unit identity without a wordmark

    Whether or not you have a wordmark, the new brand standards encourage everyone, when possible, to buck the formality of wordmark in favor of a clear, more flexible layout that allows you to communicate more about your unit than its name. Here are some ways you can leverage a combination of on-brand design and messaging […]
  • Evolving the brand for new audiences

    Have you seen the new Power of I media campaign that went live the first week of January? If so, you probably noticed a shift: This campaign was developed to target audiences beyond prospective students. The images below are a couple of examples of the new assets. Toward the end of 2020, our team began […]
  • Design templates make it easy to stay on-brand

    Implementing a new brand during a pandemic might not have been on the top of your to-do list for 2020, but we’re trying to make it as easy as possible! Maybe you’ve already downloaded the new university logos, fonts and are using the new and improved color palette (if not, that’s a great place to […]
  • Why standardizing iconography matters

    Certain icons and symbols are universally recognizable. For instance, a red octagon is understood by drivers as “stop” even before the four white letters on the sign are legible. Before road signs were standardized, a cross-country trip could see drivers encountering roads marked with a plethora of unique symbols, all trying to communicate the same […]
  • How one unit is using brand powers to tell their story

    Several campus communicators have recently asked for guidance on how to share their unit’s unique messages and stories while still plugging into the university-wide brand. It’s a great question (one that resonates far beyond the realm of branding): How do I celebrate the qualities that make me unique while also embracing my identity as part […]
  • Making the most of the flexibility in the brand

    Two important goals we needed to accomplish while creating the U of I brand was for it to be unified, yet flexible. It’s important that we’re unified when we need to be – that’s the whole point of establishing a university-wide brand – but we also understand that we need to allow for design flexibility for […]
  • What's in a name (or a wordmark)?

    What’s in a name? It’s a good question – one that we’ve been thinking about a lot in the Office of Strategic Marketing & Branding (SMB), particularly in the context of wordmarks and how to convey the identity of secondary units. If you used to have a wordmark but now don’t under the new brand […]
  • How to use Google Tag Manager

    If you’re just using the out-of-the-box tools on Google Analytics you’re missing out on most of the value gleaned from analyzing activity on your website. Google Tag Manager allows you to easily track things like button clicks, form submissions, scroll depth, video plays, and so much more without having to bother your developer. This is […]