From a marketing perspective, the name becomes the brand and should one day stand alone with an absurd amount of recognition, e.g., Nike and Coca-Cola. The archive project we have embarked on over the last few months has allowed for a closer examination of the evolution of our brand, and it has been quite fascinating.
The first handful of decades relied on touting Rice University, as we always should, and then a simple type setting of our school name at the time. This trend continued after Rice published its first logo guidelines in the late 1980s.
To celebrate our 25th Anniversary, Melissa Grimes, a nationally renowned illustrator, was commissioned to create an illustration. “The Insatiable Student,” as it was called, captured the moment nicely and was resurrected five years later for the identity of Continuing Studies.
In the meantime, we started dabbling with fonts and lock-ups, which is the marketing term for the combined elements of artwork and text, to create our first official logo. This endeavor proved to be a challenge soliciting designs from five different groups and wasn’t completed until 2001.
By the time our 35th Anniversary rolled around we were ready to create another special look. A designer that had started with us back in the fall of 1999, Angie Jordan (Watson at the time), did not disappoint. Her superb design sensibilities continued to grow along with the school and she has been with us ever since as our designer of record.
Over time our lock-up changed slightly with its positioning and then with the addition of our namesake, Susanne M. Glasscock.
Eventually, the stylized masthead of our catalog, which Angie designed, became our official text treatment and lock-up to be used in conjunction with the Rice logo on all that we do. This text treatment is a graceful yet strong combination of Perpetua and Snell Roundhand fonts that portrays the integrity of the Glasscock School and our offerings.
Once the text treatment was set, we began the arduous process of developing a house style for the school. House style is a term that refers to the collection of standards that dictates the way all of our products appear. It involves establishing precise fonts, colors and images for each of our program areas that connect back to our text treatment. It’s important to make each element strong enough to stand on its own, yet still able to share the page with other GSCS branding elements.
“If you start with the Rice logo and work your way down to GSCS and then program-level, each level's logo gets simplified as you progress, so when used in one piece it is not too distracting to have all three elements on a page.” Angie said.
So, no offense to Mr. Shakespeare, but “What’s in a name?” … a lot of hard work, but it sure is sweet.