Monmouth College begins its 160th year with a new academic calendar, a newly adopted strategic plan and a new $40 million academic building nearing completion. So what else is new?
How about a new institutional logo?
The college recently unveiled a logotype with an updated look. In addition to a new graphic treatment of the words “Monmouth College,” it features a simplified version of the iconic Wallace Hall cupola inside a shield emblem and in the college’s colors, red and white.
“The new design has actually been under development for more than three years,” explained Molly Ball, vice president for development and college relations. “When we began a redesign of admissions publications in 2009, our designer thought that our existing logo looked dated and didn’t reproduce well, so she introduced an entirely new logo to be used specifically for these publications, which consisted simply of the word ‘Monmouth’ in the Garamond typeface. It was a bit of a trial balloon, but gradually it made its way onto the magazine cover, letterhead and even the college website.”
What was lacking, Ball said, was a distinctive mark to complement the name of the college.
“Our existing logo included a highly detailed rendering of our cupola in light and shadow, but it did not reproduce well, especially in small sizes,” she continued. “We asked our designer to experiment with some new marks, and she came up with several using the shield motif but not necessarily the cupola. When we presented these to focus groups of alumni and students, there was a large segment that expressed a strong desire to keep the Wallace Hall tower. So we went back to the drawing board and created a shield mark that contained a sleeker version of the cupola.”
The angle of the image reveals two arched openings under the tower, which in a subtle way suggest the letter “M” for “Monmouth,” she added.
Concurrent with the new logo, the college is rolling out several forward-looking initiatives, including a strategic plan, a campus master plan and a first-ever business plan. “As we enter a new and exciting academic era at Monmouth, it seems fitting that we have a bright, new symbol to reflect our progress and vision,” Ball noted.
After recently receiving final approval from the president’s cabinet and members of the trustees’ executive board, the new logo has begun making an appearance on the web and in print materials, and will soon adorn new banners that line the front of campus along Broadway.