A Word from the President
This is an exciting time to be a part of Union University. As we compete in a national marketplace for students and recognition, it's important to present consistent and accurate messages to a wide variety of audiences. We might not think about it much, but by virtue of our daily work and strong beliefs we have created a "brand identity" for Union. It is our promise to the world. It is our commitment to integrate top-tier academics and Christian faith. Each time someone from Union communicates with the public, it is essential to tell our story clearly, effectively and consistently. That important need explains the reason for publishing this Union University Visual Identity Guide. The graphic standards and best practices described here will establish our visual identity with new contacts and preserve our branding for those who already know us. It will reinforce our image as an institution that is excellence-driven, Christ-centered, people-focused and future-directed. The Office of University Communications has worked with representatives from throughout the Union community to refine and direct these efforts. Contact the staff for any guidance you need in these matters. Please recognize, however, that it is the responsibility of every office and organization on campus to apply these guidelines. I very much appreciate your support of this important work.
David S. Dockery
Why Branding and Visual Identity?
Union University has a distinct identity in Christian higher education, but at first glance might appear nearly identical to other institutions with similar missions. After all, there are many schools with longstanding traditions of quality academic instruction, church affiliations, small classes and people who care about each other.
According to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, about 900 colleges and universities have church-related affiliations. U.S. Department of Education statistics show 39% of U.S. colleges and universities enroll fewer than 1,000 students (Union's enrollment exceeds 4,000). Nearly six of every 10 U.S. colleges and universities are private institutions.
So we cannot expect to stand out among our peers by simply portraying Union as a private, Christian institution with small classes and friendly people. We must present a distinctive story. That work begins with unique and consistent branding marks.
For years, many colleges and universities applied branding in ways that were inconsistent and confusing. New logos were created, modified and withdrawn. A distinctive visual brand was difficult to define.
A few years ago, an internal study group composed of faculty and staff from a number of departments met to examine Union's brand identity. The communications needs of a growing university were examined. The branding found in this guide emerged from that campus-wide discussion.
Some may see these standards as arbitrary and restrictive, but colleges and universities around the world have adopted similar policies. They too are responding to a rapidly changing communications landscape that demands precision and clarity.
It is vital to Union's branding goals that these marks be used properly and without modifications of any kind. The pages of this website will identify and explain the visual identity system.