By Mary-Ellen Davis, News Editor
Photo by Mary-Ellen Davis/ The Towerlight
Towson University President Kim Schatzel announced Thursday that members of the community will soon see a new Towson University logo spreading across campus during her fall presidential address.
As the first new logo in more than 20 years, the revamped black and gold logo is part of Schatzel’s presidential initiative, “TU Matters to Maryland.” The initiative is aimed at retelling Towson’s story.
“TU Matters to Maryland is a comprehensive communication strategy that is aimed at retelling the contemporary story of Towson University, and what makes Towson University distinctive and valuable to the State of Maryland in 2018 and well beyond,” Schatzel said.
When Schatzel first came to campus in 2016, she took a listening tour of the university and community, and heard many stories from those who were familiar with Towson University who still pictured an old Towson environment.
“l learned that far too few of our alumni, legislators, business and community partners from around the state knew the contemporary story of TU,” Schatzel said. “The Towson University that they knew, that they thought of, was the small, largely commuter, teacher preparation college we were 50 years ago.”
According to Sean Welsh, Director of Media and News, the logo is the culmination of 18 months of work spurred by over 2000 conversations had with members across campus and the state, “be it students, faculty, staff, alumni, [and] community members.”
According to Welsh, the feedback was part of an identity audit conducted by the university Department of Marketing and Communications.
“This is just the visual representation,” Welsh said. “So there is a new brand voice we are delivering.”
The new design, which folds over itself, no longer has the wavy gold and white lines over that community members have come to know.
Original tests for the logo were conducted by Lipman-Hearne, a higher-education marketing firm based out of Chicago. Work was then continued by Towson’s in-house design team, and was finalized by marketing partner Mission Media of Baltimore.
Ezekiel Odioko, a University Store employee and supply chain management major, likes the simplicity of the logo.
“It’s just straight forward and nowadays people don’t have the patience to always get [overwhelmed],” said Odioko.
With the new trademark comes new Towson gear which, according to Welsh. Students will be able to trade their old gear in for at some point in the future.
“We’re planning at some point to do a t-shirt swap or a couple of events similar to t-shirt swaps,” Welsh said. “Where students can bring in their old Towson swag and get some new Towson swag with the new mark on it.”
University Store employee and sociology and spanish major Celine Yakoumatos mentioned that the design is minimalistic, and expressed curiosity as to why Towson used just letters for the new image.
“It’s interesting that they decided to use letters and not a picture or something,” Yakoumatos said.
Faculty and staff will also be given the opportunity to phase out the inventory they already have for things such as letterhead through the end of 2019.
“By the first of 2020, this will be the only image you see,” Welsh said.
However, Odioko believes that not everyone will warm up to the new logo right away.
“It’s change which is progressive, but it also takes time to get used to something new,” Odioko said.
The new branding will officially launch campus wide in January of 2019, Welsh said. In the meantime, the logo can be seen on Towson’s website.
Welsh also said that this new logo will not replace the tiger logo that athletics has. That one will remain the same.
The logo will also hit the University Store sometime in January for Towson community members to pick up.
“I hope each of you will proudly wear, and proudly share this new TU brandmark as we boldly tell the contemporary story of Towson University,” Schatzel said. “And together write the next chapter of TU’s story, and TU’s future success.”