Brandeis rebrands with updated seal, narrative

Brandeis rebrands with updated seal, narrative

May 3, 2019

Brandeis introduced an updated seal and logo on Wednesday in an effort to become more recognizable outside the Brandeis community, said Mark Neustadt, a marketer with Neustadt Creative Marketing who presented the logo to students, staff, faculty and other community members. The new brand will be officially rolled out on Aug. 1.

Neustadt said that though the changes may appear slight, he hopes that they provide a way for Brandeis to be more recognizable to the outside world. He spoke about encouraging more “connective tissue” so that the University as a whole is consistently branded.

The new logo can come in different versions including or without the seal and the words “Brandeis” or “Brandeis University.” Different institutes and centers can use the logo for publications by putting the name of their school to the right of the word “Brandeis,” but the athletics department will not yet be affected by the logo change, Neustadt said.  

The logo uses a sans serif typeface, and Neustadt hopes to standardize fonts and colors across Brandeis publications. Neustadt said that one of the hardest parts of the process was dealing with the letter “r” and “a” in the word “Brandeis.” Neustadt said that the two letters, when placed next to each other, tend to clash and worked to adjust the font to rectify that problem.

The seal has also been slightly changed. In the new seal, there is no longer a double ring in the center, the word “Brandeis” is now in all capital letters, the shield is centered in the seal, and the lines that lead into the seal were changed to create a more “luminous effect,” said Neustadt.

Neustadt plans to release “swag” to promote the logo to new and returning Brandeis students, though he is not sure what type of merchandise it would be. Neustadt also emphasized that the roll-out process of the new logo and seal would be slow, as it would have to be phased in with existing materials. Neustadt urged administrators in the room to order materials with the new branding rather than the old.

Neustadt also spoke about the Brandeis “brand narrative,” which is meant to encompass the personality of the university and what external groups will see Brandeis as. Neustadt said that for the narrative to be effective, it needs to be authentic.

He described Brandeis as “inquisitive, considerate, genuine, friendly, embracing of the unconventional and creative,” and “inviting and open to engaging across difference, even if that requires uncomfortable conversations, with the goal of making Brandeis and the world a better place.”

Neustadt elaborated on the brand narrative and spoke about the interviews with over 20 divisions, offices and groups of individuals the communications team did to research what the narrative would be. Neustadt then presented the “core differentiator” of Brandeis or why Brandeis is unique.

“Brandeis is a research university shaped by a spirit of rigorous inquiry. And because Brandeis is not as big as other research universities, it is also marked by a particular coactivity. Faculty, students and staff engage with others across departments, disciplines and interests. This results in an academic and social environment that is both deeply curious and collaborative,” Neustadt read off a slide.

The presentation also displayed additional characteristics of Brandeis, that included inquisitivity, Brandeis’ Jewish roots, its commitment to social justice and its placement in Waltham, outside of Boston.

Neustadt then took questions from the audience about the implementation of the new logo. He told students that though he wanted student clubs to be able to use the logo, he also wants to allow students to brand themselves as they see fit. He also reiterated that the seal and the logo should be used as provided.

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