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Branding Initiative

To: University Community
From: Stephen T. Hulbert, President

Nicholls State University is in a remarkable period of transition. Beginning this fall, the University’s admission standards will rise for only the second time in the institution’s 57 year history. With this change comes a renewed effort to identify the University in a way that will have even greater appeal to academically well-qualified students as well as to the broader community this institution serves.

With this in mind, Nicholls began its first-ever comprehensive branding initiative last year to define the way people think of the University. One result is a set of new logos for the university and its athletic programs, along with complementary typefaces and fine-tuning of the University’s color scheme.

But logos only skim the surface of a university’s identity. This branding process we undertook went deeper, refining the University’s messages to best reflect our shared institutional values. The new image emphasizes the qualities that make Nicholls special: our strong academic program, our personal attention to the needs of students, our sense of family, the dynamic growth taking place on our campus today, the pathways to success we offer to students, and our vibrant, welcoming culture of the Bayou Region. These are the things that Nicholls represents, and the things we want everyone to think of immediately when they see the University’s logo or hear its name. That’s why the new logo so prominently features the name Nicholls. That name should automatically convey our shared values and the University’s rich traditions.

A tremendous amount of effort and consultation went into developing this new image. The nationally-experienced firm of Lapham/Miller interviewed students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and community members, and reviewed countless existing university publications and reports, as well as the University’s Web site, to get a feel for Nicholls, its history, and the type of people who make up the University-community. The firm’s results were presented to an ad hoc committee that also included students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University.

The result of this intensive process is a single identity that will represent the entire university now and in the coming years. Over time you will see the new identity in letterhead, print publications, the Web site, campus signage and more. However, because it would be impractical to discard everything bearing the old logos, the new images will be implemented progressively over the next year and beyond. It has been my guidance to involved staff that the new identity be in place for the pivotal fall semester ahead with its new admission standards and in order to signal a new era in the University’s history. Additionally, all campus units, academic departments and administrative offices alike, will use materials with the new logos for all off-campus correspondence but will use the older supplies for on-campus correspondence until they are exhausted.

The complete results of the branding study are available at: http://www.nicholls.edu/news/2005/099.html

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