Wayne State College unveils new look
Wayne State College has unveiled a new look and feel for institution. The redesigned visual identity consists of a reimagined wordmark and the addition of an iconic W and Wildcat mascot that reflect the energy and vitality of the College. This process began early in Fall 2019.
“Our brand is what sets Wayne State College apart from other colleges and universities,” said Marysz Rames, president of Wayne State College. “Throughout the college’s history, the visual component of our brand has been refreshed. Sometimes it has been out of necessity, such as a name change, and at other times it has been to recognize new energy and direction at the college. And while there are things that remain uncertain around us right now, there is still a great deal of certainty about who we are and what we do.”
Wayne State College, like nearly all higher education institutions since March, had to adjust to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“It is a testament to the spirit of our staff that while the College was focused on the public health emergency, we were also able to continue working on this refresh of our brand,” Rames said. “We have said since the beginning of this project that we were pleased to be able to do this work from a position of strength in enrollment due to our quality educational experience. These same characteristics guided the College’s response to the virus and will continue to move us forward.”
Wayne State’s visual identity is an important part of its brand, as it is for all institutions. Logos are the shorthand route to thinking about the College in the context of the messages associated with Wayne State.
“We are still that same small college that welcomes students each year for a high-quality, personalized education that is affordable and accessible,” Rames said. “We are still committed to teaching and learning excellence, student success, and regional service. What has changed is the set of symbols that represent us in the landscape of higher education.”
The Wayne State archives chart the college’s use of a variety of images to project the College’s visual identity. Our symbols and acronyms range from NNC (Nebraska Normal College 1891), WSN (Wayne State Normal 1914), NSTC (Nebraska State Teachers College 1928), and WSTC (Wayne State Teachers College 1958) to WSC (Wayne State College 1963).
“This is the first time in more than 15 years that Wayne State College has reimagined its visual identity,” said Jay Collier, director of College Relations. “The last update was the adoption in 2005 of the Wayne State College wordmark so prevalent on our current printed and digital materials. And while the mark served us well, the look had grown dated. So we took a fresh look at the College to see what we could do to breathe new life into our look and feel … while still honoring our past.”
The new logos reflect the College’s return to its visual roots.
“One letter stood out, though, among the archival entries: the W,” said Collier, who oversees communications and marketing at the college. “Letter jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts, athletic jerseys, pennants, yearbooks, and mascots featured the iconic W from our earliest days. As we looked for a new
icon to accompany a new wordmark, we took a cue from our history and incorporated the W into our new family of logos.”
Another constant since 1921 has been the Wildcat. The college was formerly known as the Tigers and the Teachers until 1921, when “In a close-fought game against a much larger and heavier rival, someone (quite possibly the college newspaper sports editor) decided that ‘Wildcats’ was a more fitting symbol than ‘Tigers’ for the small but spunky team, and the label quickly caught on,” according to Wayne State historical accounts.
While the new Cat is a dynamic addition to the College’s logo inventory, it is not meant to replace the iconic Paw logo that has been used for Wayne State athletics since the 1980s. The new Cat logo will supplement and complement the existing athletics brand.
The new Cat logo was created by Kristi Nelson, a 2002 graduate of Wayne State who majored in graphic design. Nelson serves as marketing coordinator for the College. The W and wordmark were created by award-winning designers at Clark Creative Group in Omaha, with whom Wayne State has worked for the production of television, radio, and digital advertising.