Indiana University Branding

Branding and Design System
Project Overview
My time working for Indiana University was largely spent creating the university’s first brand system and strategy. As lead designer, I had an intimate and hands-on role in creating the university brand architecture and strategic foundation. This experience started my love for branding—not only in the visual aspect, but also in terms of strategy and vision.
A system-wide brand positioning strategy for the entire university.
Indiana University has nine campuses, hundreds of schools and departments, thousands of websites/print materials, and minimal brand guidelines. Designers were distributed around the state—some in the central marketing office, some worked directly in schools/departments, and others had little or no design experience. Without brand principles and a design system, each designer and marketer was left to their own device.

We created a brand architecture to help build the foundation for our brand promise. Additionally, our team looked at consumer insights to understand emotional desires, benefits, and attributes of the brand through the lens of prospective students. We also conducted a competitive analysis of other colleges analyzing how they were solving similar problems with brand.

Our team interviewed parents, prospective and new students, guidance counselors, IU alumni, and IU Staff. This work also included brand workshops where we helped multiple departments and hundreds of staff to understand the brand positioning and promise. This not only included in-person discussions, but also the creation of physical brand material. These workshops and discussions created a shared sense of ownership and momentum toward a strong brand strategy.

Throughout the entire process we evaluated our work, both messaging and design. Surveys and questionnaires were created to evaluate the performance of the brand positioning. Many of these were contracted with agencies to conduct surveys of prospective college students.

Next project, Letterpress Prints

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