• 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 […]
  • Getting to know your audiences better

    You know your audience – you probably spend a lot of time thinking about them, working to reach them, and strategizing about how to trigger them into action. But do you know your audience as well as you think you do?  Think about your primary audience for a moment. Can you describe them in specific […]
  • 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 […]
  • Planning an IlliniFest that highlights both diversity & unity

    Since joining the Office of Strategic Marketing & Branding and starting my listening tour over the past month, I’ve heard a lot about both diversity and unity at the University of Illinois. Our campus draws strength from bringing together people from all backgrounds and providing them opportunities to thrive. Our individuality actually binds us together. […]
  • A Top 10 list for 2020

    With the winter holidays right around the corner, this is the perfect time to reflect on the best parts of the past year, in spite of the challenges we’ve all faced. At UIUC we’ve had much to celebrate as a campus community. On a unit level, here are the top 10 things we’re celebrating in […]
  • 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 […]
  • Asking lots of questions leads to the best path

    “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole.” This quote by Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School Professor, underscores the importance of understanding the needs of users if you truly want to accommodate them. But even in this example, knowing that they want the quarter-inch hole doesn’t go far enough […]
  • 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 […]
  • Look beyond the target

    Sometimes to hit the target, you need to look beyond it. It’s a counter-intuitive concept that can have important implications for marketers and communicators. Let me share a personal example to illustrate this idea. About a year ago, my son was in the process of deciding where to attend college. For months during his senior […]