Letter to the LMU Community: LMU's New Visual Identity

Letter to the LMU Community
December 13, 2018

Dear LMU Community:

We are pleased to announce that we have approved LMU’s new visual identity system of logos, marks, and colors. Thanks to the community’s feedback and participation, we changed and improved the final product. We considered several factors, including nearly 2,000 survey responses and insights from hundreds of attendees at open forums and presentations. While our transparent approach to logo development is not common practice, we embraced opportunities for critical dialogue and diverse perspectives because we learned more about our perceptions, values, and how we present ourselves to the world authentically.

Following the largest self study in our university’s history, we distilled our essential brand principles to “Creating the World We Want to Live In,” which has resonated throughout the community. As we learned from our partner Pentagram, one of the world’s most accomplished identity design firms, distilling one’s identity into visual marks is inevitably controversial:

  • Our new visual identity is innovative, distinctive, and a significant stylistic departure from our old logos;
  • Visuals evoke subjective emotional responses, and negative feedback from within an organization during a system’s introductory period is normal;
  • New logos are empty vessels. Time is required for us to invest meaning into them.

Our new logo and marks complement our brand initiative, positioning us to capture the attention of external audiences as we invite them to learn more about our extraordinary institution. The foundational symbols of the Jesuits, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange reflect 500 years of tradition. The Lion exemplifies our ambitious spirit, combining the oldest emblem of the Jesuits with our lion mascot tradition and evoking the sun and light of Southern California. Together, these visuals and the new system fuse our history with our vision, contemporized to compete effectively in the world’s capital of creativity and beyond.

We will begin transitioning to the new visual identity immediately; however, many months will be required to replace fully our old system. LMU’s past identities were only partially adopted, achieving only limited success. We expect the new system will redefine how we present ourselves visually through uniform adoption across all academic and administrative units, including Athletics and Loyola Law School. We will decommission individual marks and emerge as a visually integrated and unified institution. Through consistent use, we will build external equity in our new marks; we will maximize our impact; we will raise our visibility; and ultimately, we will help advance LMU.

Marketing and Communications will continue to lead collaboratively during the transition. LMU’s Visual Identity Implementation Committee has convened, with representation from across the university, and is tasked with prioritizing logo replacement projects, timelines, and budgets. The committee will address questions that arise in an undertaking of this scale and complexity on an ongoing basis. Our MarComm colleagues will guide us through the transition and share further information early next year.

Visual identity changes are challenging for every organization. However, we are confident that the inclusive process, the refinements that followed in direct response, and the goodwill of our community will ensure its long-term success. We invite you to learn more about our new visual identity and initial implementation plans through the resources below:

Please direct your questions to our visual identity inquiry form. Finally, as we roll out the new system in the coming months, join us by updating your email signature today as we collectively exclaim: Go Lions!

With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.

Lane Bove, Ed.D.
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs

Thomas O. Fleming, Jr.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

John S. Kiralla
Vice President for Marketing and Communications (CMO/CCO)

John M. Parrish, Ph.D.
Special Assistant to the President

Craig Pintens
Athletic Director

Thomas Poon, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost

Abbie Robinson-Armstrong, Ph.D.
Vice President for Intercultural Affairs

Lynne B. Scarboro
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

John T. Sebastian, Ph.D.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Kristi Wade
Interim Senior Vice President for University Advancement

Michael Waterstone, J.D.
Senior Vice President and Dean of Loyola Law School