New logo refreshes values, allows practical use

By Mimi Whetstone

This month, the Madonna University logo received an overdue makeover for both practical and symbolic purposes.

“The changes were made because we needed different applications and different versions,” said Karen Sanborn, Director of Marketing for University Advancement. “An institutional task force was pulled together to look at how we were going to renew or refresh our logo, what should we do and consider. We looked at the brand and looked at the number of ways we use it.”

The University will be using three different adaptations of the logo. The first, known as the horizontal version, features the logo to the left of the words “Madonna University.” The second, known as the integrated version, has the logo beginning the word “Madonna” and “University” is written out underneath. The third variation, most commonly used for space consideration, is known as the stacked version. In this final form, the logo appears directly centered above the words “Madonna University.”

“There are three versions; the primary version being the one that is there today, and the other two, which are for use in different applications,” Sanborn explained. “That was the main emphasis. We needed different versions, and it was just time. If you're going to go in and make changes, then the task force is going to look at how we might update and refresh it.”

Other practical changes included the placement of the flame within the letter. Before the adjustments were made, more than half of the flame stood outside of the “M,” making it difficult to incorporate into smaller areas and merchandise.

“By bringing the flame down a little bit, it allows us to use it in tight spaces,” Sanborn continued. “During the process, we had several different iterations of a fresher logo. When I shared it with the faculty, they were concerned that the flame was not high enough. At that point, it was even with the top of the ‘M.’ We took it back to the designers and they brought it back out. We heard what every one had to say. The decisions weren't made in a vacuum.”

In addition to practicality, the board of directors also took the University’s image into consideration.

“I think the most important part of revising or refreshing the logo is the discovery of how important this symbol is to so many,” said Madonna University President Sister Rose Marie Kujawa. “Not only were the students and faculty focused on the process, but alumni, trustees and friends expressed so many positive memories that the logo evoked.  The entire process was important in rediscovering who we were as a University community, committed to living our Franciscan values.”

The symbolic changes to the logo include the removal of the box around the letter and flame, as well as the use of a more tradition font.

“The box around the ‘M’ with the flame was removed to show inclusiveness and openness,” Sanborn said. “We're open to students of all shapes and all economic statuses. We're an inclusive campus. The font is an old-style typeface. It's a serif font as opposed to the sans-serif font we were using. It shows strength. It's collegial. We’re all very happy with the changes.”

In addition to the satisfied faculty, staff, and board of directors, students are also beginning to voice their excitement about the updated logo.

“I am happy to know Madonna makes changes like this to the University,” said Criminal Justice major Kevin Kohlert. “I am grateful towards these new developments because it lets me know Madonna cares about their impression on new and current students. Since Madonna puts time into making these kind of changes, I am proud to represent Madonna as a student.”

Since the new designs have been approved, students can expect to start seeing the new logo around campus in the near future.

“We're already starting to use it now, for example, if we're doing a post card for admissions, we're going to start using the new version,” Sanborn said. “As far as all around campus, I'd say you’ll start to see it at the beginning of the winter semester.”