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JHU debuts new look aimed at creating more unified identity

VP for Communications thanks university community for input, participation in process that President Daniels introduced in November

Unity. Excellence. One university.

These are the themes that drove a universitywide identity initiative led by Vice President for Communications Glenn Bieler, who introduced the final designs to the Johns Hopkins community today.

"The goal of this initiative was to fashion a more unified identity, one that would better reflect the excellence of Johns Hopkins University and allow us to leverage all of our strengths to tell a more powerful and cohesive story," Bieler wrote in an email to the faculty, students, staff, and alumni in which he thanked the community for their feedback and participation.

The initiative originally was introduced in November by President Ronald J. Daniels, who said at that time that the university was embarking on the effort because "to outsiders and perhaps even to ourselves—we don't project a shared identity or, more important, a shared set of values."

Today's announcement is the culmination of an effort that included exhaustive stakeholder interviews and surveys, nearly 40 presentations online and at the university's various campuses, and dozens of design iterations based on feedback. A team of communications leaders from the university's schools and divisions worked with Bieler and met biweekly to move the initiative forward and ensure the process was collaborative.

The final design for the main university logo is based on existing iconography and is rooted in the official academic seal. The book represents knowledge and discovery, the globe symbolizes the university's worldwide reach, and the crest of Lord Baltimore indicates the university's connection to its community. Some schools and divisions, like the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Applied Physics Laboratory, feature their own unique graphics, enclosed within a shield shape that is common to all the logos.

The new identities will begin appearing on websites and other communications materials as they are developed. Bieler points out that no one will be asked to print new materials simply to update a logo. "We're taking a commonsense and cost-conscious approach to this effort," he wrote in his email.

A website, identity.jhu.edu, will allow individuals with a JHED ID to download logos in various file formats, access guidelines, and find information on ordering business cards and stationery. The site also includes a a frequently-asked-questions section and a brief video that highlights key elements of the identity initiative. Members of the community can sign up to receive updates as new files, guidelines, and other updates to the identity system become available.

Bieler emphasized in his presentations and in his email to the community that the new university logo does not replace the official academic seal. "It's not going anywhere," he wrote, adding that it will be used as intended for official and ceremonial purposes, like diplomas.

Over the summer months, the central Office of Communications and the school and divisional communications offices will refine the real-world application of the logos in preparation for wider usage in the next academic year.

"People have expressed excitement about using the new identities," Bieler said. "And that's fantastic. This is a wonderful One University moment."