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Reputation strategy update for May 2022

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Renea Morris

Renea Morris

News  •
Internal  •

The next era of DU’s brand is here. Two years ago, we began a top-to-bottom review of how we are perceived in the broader higher ed landscape. This revealed ways to differentiate ourselves; it also showed that, while we have deep connections to our community, we face visibility and reputational challenges outside Denver and Colorado. 
Part of our response to these findings was the exploration of a single logo for the University. While our visual identity and brand is much more than our logo, our logo is a cornerstone of that identity. Positioning the University for success and supporting its reputation, recruitment and revenue goals is no small feat. However, we can unite DU with one brand, one logo and one message—allowing us to leverage every touchpoint with our University. In early April, our new logo was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees, and we shared it during our community town hall on May 12. The revitalized logo is an evolution of our current interlocking DU mark, a result that allows us to capitalize on the brand equity we’ve established while also resolving usability challenges we have experienced with some of our current marks. The design is simple yet modern and reflects DU as one unified institution. Additionally, this logo system scales well for a wide variety of marketing purposes, including digital, while also ensuring synergy and place for the institutional mark and sub brand names. As a whole, our refreshed identity, accompanied by this new mark, is designed to differentiate us in the marketplace by reflecting our unique personality traits, the essence of who we are and the real-world impact of the work we do to serve the public good. 

This aspect of our brand refresh is just the beginning. We will release the full system, which includes much-enhanced visual and editorial style guides and tools, in mid-June and host training over the next year. Our goal with all of this work is to move the University forward by rising in the rankings, engaging new markets more meaningfully, building a robust student pipeline and creating an authentic narrative that resonates with all our audiences. We want to ensure that a mention of the University of Denver is recognized nation-wide as a symbol for thought leadership, hard work, determination, ingenuity, commitment and the true desire to make a difference that results in real impact for the public good. 
On behalf of the entire division, we would like to thank all members of the DU community who have contributed to the brand refresh process over the past year, including the Strategic Messaging Working Group, Visual Identity Working Group, For the Difference Campaign Working Group, Logo Review Committee, DU Insiders, Chancellor’s Cabinet, Deans' Council, and so many of our faculty, staff, students and alumni who participated in focus groups, responded to surveys and shared their invaluable perspectives and feedback along the way. We would also like to thank our external partners, creative agency HeavyDoesIt and reputation strategy management firm Carnegie. We hope you are excited about the upcoming changes to DU’s brand as we are, and we look forward to the public rollout this fall.