Who gives a hoot?

Coming soon to FAU. It’s “BRAND NEW. WATCH FOR IT. SPRING 2005.” These words are adorning black and white posters around campus and alerting students of the new branding initiative. FAU will proudly unveil its new University and athletic logos as well as the new official seal sometime in the next month and a half, but many decisions and preparations are still under way.

On Jan. 3 data collection for the FAU online branding survey came to an end. More than 3,000 people gave their input and shared their ideas with the committee through the university-wide survey. The final round of group sessions took place three weeks ago, which involved students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. It is now up to the designers to evaluate the feedback and make their final proposal to the University. The logos and seal will be unveiled to the public during a ceremony sometime this spring.

According to Executive Director of Communications, Aileen Izquierdo, “when President Brogan came on board a couple of years ago, he noticed there were a lot of inconsistencies in our marks, signage and brochures. Everything looked different, so when someone received a publication or something from FAU, it wasn’t easy to figure out it was from FAU.” There are considerable discrepancies between the different logos and school colors, which have changed over time, has caused a considerable amount of confusion.

The current FAU seal will be refined and reserved for ceremonial use, such as diplomas, and official president-approved use. The general university mark will be seen on the sides of buildings and will grace the FAU website, letterheads and business cards. The athletics’ mark will be used for all athletic teams, licensed merchandise, student government and alumni affairs.

Rickabaugh Graphics is the firm responsible for judging FAU’s visual identity. Some of Rickabaugh’s clients include Coca-Cola, the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

“We wanted to have some uniformity, so people will know that these things come from a university of quality that cares about its students and cares about itself as well,” said Izquierdo, “This whole process is about standardizing our marks so our university becomes more recognizable.” Though most students have not heard of the branding initiative, those who did have mixed feelings about the whole process. “Back in 2001-2002, they changed the logo from the burrowing owl looking over its shoulder to the one we have today,” said senior Elizabeth Waldren, an art history major at FAU. “They shouldn’t change it again, they worked too hard already and this takes time,” she adds. “I don’t see any reason for change,” agrees junior Micha Stranger, a psychology major, “It’s fine as it is.”

While some don’t see a need for change, others give suggestions instead. “Maybe they should worry about lowering tuition or improving the parking situation first,” suggests Zoltan Szalas, a junior who’s studying accounting here at FAU.

All in all, two things are for sure; the owl will remain FAU’s mascot, and navy blue and red are to remain FAU’s official colors. The next phase of the branding process includes identifying items that need change as well as associated timelines and costs.

For more information and updates, visit the official website at www.fau.edu/branding