Michigan State University News

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Michigan State University brand update sparked logo anger

Posted by Kristin Skaggs on February 19, 2010

Facebook ignited in rageful comments by MSU students in late January. An unexpected image had leaked, a redesigned Spartan helmet logo, and it was not well received.

More information came from the university, which disclosed that the logo was part of a new marketing campaign the Athletic Department had undertaken in collaboration with Nike. The department wanted to create a unified look among university athletics, which would be unveiled in April 2010.

The proposed new spartan logo included elongation in the back, among other updates.

MSU Athletic Communications employee Paulette Martis guesses someone saw the redesigned logo on the U.S. Patent Web site, and said that the information was not meant to be leaked before the official unveiling of the Athletic Department rebranding and marketing strategy.

In response to the outcry among students, faculty, fans and alumni MSU Director of Athletics Mark Hollis released a statement on Feb 5 regarding the lack of image consistency within the athletic department and a plan to fix the problem. He insisted that input from the MSU community was highly regarded in the decision-making process.

As a testament to the importance of the community’s support, Hollis declared that the athletic department will keep the current Spartan logo for the new brand design.

A similar discussion was sparked by the outcry over the proposed new logo, though it has not received the same response. On Feb. 12, the MSU department of University Relations decided to choose on a specific shade to make the official Spartan shade of green.

The department is trying establish a consistent image that reflects the University’s commitment to hard work and excellence. The first commercial released under the campaign highlights some of the University’s achievements and demonstrates some of the trademarks of the new campaign, like the angled text at the end of the video.

Although the department has been working on redeveloping their image since last year, Assistant Vice President for University Relations Heather Swain said the new official shade of green was chosen out of “a desire to reach back into traditions.” The shade is similar to that of the Spartan Marching Band jackets.

In an effort to use resources efficiently, Swain said that MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon insisted the university would not go immediately repaint the campus. Instead, colors will be updated as things are replaced or repainted.

Student thoughts on the logo: New vs. Old

Jonathan McEmber, Jo Schmidt, Kristin Skaggs and Carol Thompson

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One Response to “Michigan State University brand update sparked logo anger”

  1. Bob Gould said

    hi guys! congrats on being the first group to get your stuff done.
    -here are a few commments:

    Like the layout
    good headline to draw you and seems pretty searchable
    nice use of links and the text gives you a good perspective.
    using the map to show where student’s quotes are from is a unique way of doing this.

    Good that you got the guy from the facebook site.
    The video:
    shooting in front of a window is not a good idea…it backlights the interview.
    he’s got some good soundbites, but I would’ve liked to see some video of him doing something…maybe going to class or hanging out with friends or something…it needed more than just a sitdown interview and a couple of screen grabs.

    The soundslides:
    -like the fight song and the images are nice. I would’ve liked to hear some soundbites thrown in underneath the music to help tell the story. Soundslides should tell a story in full and not just be a photo “essay”

    you guys have come a long way in 5 weeks and wish we had a few more weeks to hone your skills.

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