Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SAIS's new logo: "Telling a more cohesive and powerful story"

What's in a logo?
SAIS's new logo

Johns Hopkins and SAIS are complicated institutions with many moving parts around the globe. Recently the university took a look at itself with a view to simplifying  the message.

The result is a set of new logos that seek to capture the essence of Johns Hopkins in a visually attractive way.

Logos by definition compress and simplify. In the case of Hopkins, its new logo seeks to capture four distinguishing features: research, world, community and excellence.

The branding exercise started with the realization that while certain parts of Johns Hopkins were well known, the university's collective identity was lost in its many departments and schools. Institutions and companies are little greater than the sum of their individual parts unless they harness their collective energy.

The goal was "to create a shared visual for the entire university that allows us to begin telling a more cohesive and powerful story," according to the authors of the initiative.

The university's new logo depicts an open book (knowledge and discovery), a globe (worldwide impact) and the crest of Lord Baltimore (Johns Hopkins's attachment to its community).

SAIS's logo has also undergone change. Instead of the acronym SAIS inside a circle formed by the names of its campuses' three host cities, the new logo features the letters "SAIS" above the globe and placed within the shape of a shield traditionally used for university seals.

SAIS's commitment to excellence and its historic mission remain unchanged by the re-branding exercise.

But SAIS's new logo is a reminder that it is part of a preeminent research university with a global reach and strong local roots. A message that is familiar to SAIS students and graduates, and worth spreading to prospective candidates around the world.

Nelson Graves

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