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Developing a brand is about so much more

July 8, 2020
Brand strategy

So much more than what? So much more than whatever first comes to mind when we think of a brand. It’s more than a logo or wordmark (although we have them, and they’re important!), and more than using the official Illini Orange and approved family of fonts. A brand is even so much more than adopting a single, unified brand message

In other words, developing and implementing our brand is about more than how we look and sound to the outside world. Those external expressions are built on an internal process that involves uncovering who we are, and then agreeing to embody those core values, together. 

You’ll find those internal, guiding principles in the brand strategy section of the guidelines we released on Monday (particularly on this page, which shows how the brand strategy is expressed). The strategy didn’t magically appear with the establishment of the brand marketing office last year. It was built upon the university’s 150-year identity – an identity that people across the U of I have been speaking into and out of for generations.  

As we move forward, that strategy should shape not only how we each communicate with our audiences, but also how we plan events and programs across campus, how we orient new faculty and staff – how we all do everything we do. And it will help us move forward in lock-step, as one unified, strong university.