Signs on campus are being updated as the university continues to implement its new logo and brand.
Signs that identify buildings on campus previously included the school’s old Pulliam Hall clocktower logo, but a piece with the university’s new logo is being installed over the old image.
Chancellor Rita Cheng said Plant and Service Operations came up with a cost-effective way to make the change.
SIU paid marketing firm Lipman Hearne about $1.5 million in 2010 to lead new marketing efforts on campus that include the new logo and brand. The updates began to appear around campus last year, but remnants of the old logo still exist.
Cheng said a unified brand across campus is very important, and that’s why changes are ongoing.
“Obviously, we want to make sure we’re consistent in our advertising and branding so that when people come back on campus we don’t have something that looks very different from what we’d sent them,” Cheng said. “We have to be crisp and clear in our messaging. It’s a promise that we give to our students.”
The original plan was to slowly phase out the old logo and not replace existing pieces on campus to save money.
However, Cheng said the PSO employees have been changing the signs in their free time so the university doesn’t have to pay for extra labor. Cheng said the workers began work on the signs outside the Allyn building in July and have continued whenever they have time.
“They’re working slowly but surely,” she said. “We have a lot of signs. When they put those up, they put a lot of time into them.”
Cheng said she thinks the costs for the signs are a part of an already-budgeted university cost.
“I’m pretty sure it’s part of our signage budget,” she said. “We’re always fixing signs, always repairing them when things get broken.”
Rod Sievers, university spokesman, said the university’s branding efforts include much more than just a new logo, and the response has been mostly positive so far.
“I don’t think anyone should think that the university is hinging all its hopes on a new logo,” he said. “That’s a very small part of it. There are all sorts of efforts going on, from messaging and branding to printed pieces that we send out to prospective students. The logo is just a very small part of it.”
Sievers also said the unified brand across campus is important as the university tries to improve its enrollment numbers.
“It’s very important that we have a consistent look and feel when it comes to our messaging,” he said. “It includes everything from the logo to the photographs we use in our printed pieces, to our written materials that go out. It all has to be coordinated. It’s very important that people see the university from the prospective of that one brand.”
Ashley Kovalcik, a freshman from Chicago studying physical therapy, said she doesn’t understand why the university changed its logo.
“I just don’t think there was a reason for it to change,” she said. “The clock tower was on all my applications, and I thought it was really pretty.”
Roger Peralta, a junior from Round Lake studying criminology and criminal justice, said he hates to see the old logo go.
“The old logo had more of a meaning, more of a symbol,” he said. “The new logo is plain. The old logo represented SIU better.”
Jamie Varughese, a freshman from Buffalo Grove studying pre-nursing, said she doesn’t think the benefits that come with the new logo exceed the costs that have gone into it. She said the money could have been put toward something better.
“I thought the clock tower was significant,” she said. “The first thing I thought of when I thought of SIU was the clock tower. I feel like if you take the clock tower away, you’re taking away one of the things that identifies the school.”