WMU new logo heritage hall

New light pole banners showcase the new logo on Oakland Avenue

Keen eyed drivers on Oakland Avenue may have noticed a new logo on Western Michigan University light pole banners lining the street. This new look is a part of a rebranding effort by the university. 

On December 6, WMU uploaded a Youtube video outlining the plan for a new logo the university is rolling out on wmich.edu

“We’ve built on existing visual elements while adapting to changes in many ways,” Tony Proudfoot, the Vice President for Marketing and Strategic Communication said in the video. 

Proudfoot notes the new look will gradually be appearing on and around campus. The new look has already been seen on uniforms for the Soccer and Tennis teams. 

The new logo is a university wide look, featuring a gold outlined brown circle with a gold  “W” in the middle. It will be used by every university institution for a more “unifying” effect around the Kalamazoo area, the university has had several colors in rotation for logos and apparel, now the only colors to be used are brown and gold. 

“Logos and colors are really pneumonic devices,” Proudfoot said. “They carry all of the good will of the university. Anytime someone sees our logo we want them in a nanosecond to remember all of the good things about Western Michigan University and that requires consistency, so what we have done is reduced the number of marks we are using.”

The University called for internal design experts to help work on the new look, taking people from most divisions on campus. The group worked on ideas and refined the look until late summer to early fall of 2020 when groups of students and staff gave feedback on the new look. 

“It has been alive and rolled out into the world, starting in September and it has been running ever since, you will be seeing it rolling out into the world over time,” Proudfoot said. 

The spirit logo, the logo WMU Athletics will be using, has been incorporated for every team on campus. In the past the football team would use the “Ghost Bronco” logo made famous by former Head Coach P.J. Fleck, while the other teams on campus would use a “W” with a bronco head over top. 

The spirit logo now consists of a refined version of the Bronco logo, with gold accents in the mane and details on the neck. The logo was also flipped to the right. In the past, the bronco logo has faced the left hand side, essentially running west. 

“The new spirit mark is really the original Bronco turned to the right, and with the school colors,” Proudfoot said,  “The whole look is a little more streamlined.” 

To help ease the burden of the amount of money it takes to rebrand an entire university, the new look will be appearing gradually over time as objects need to be replaced or updated on campus. Starting with signs and posters on streets, the school will eventually have a new look with all of the logos and color schemes. 

“What is important about this rollout, is this is about building a critical piece of branding infrastructure, which is really gonna solve our long term issues,” Proudfoot said. “Brands are built over decades. We are going to see this move forward as we replace new items, because it would not be wise to throw things away or replace anything that does not need to be replaced.”

More changes coming for fans will include logos on apparel, as the university stopped approving the older logos for outfitters in January. 

“This is going to be an evolution as opposed to a revolution,” Proudfoot said. 

 

(4) comments

JeanneJMinor

Thanks for sharing this article, Because it can be helpful for students. But now I have some confusion about Kenya film school fees structure. I want to know about this Because I haven't more budget. I want to learn about film production at a cheap rate.

BrettM

All they had to do was get rid of a few logos, not destroy the brand image. How did this make it through multiple steps of approval?

Lawson arena looks terrible now.

Fire Proudfoot.

madmatthew56

In the sixth paragraph, it should be 'mnemonic', not pneumonic. Also, I DO like the fact that it's BROWN and gold, not black. Too many marketing materials in the 90s and 00s seemed intent on changing our colors to black and gold.

GhostBronco

This is an unmitigated disaster. Ghost Bronco is the best logo the university has had and it should be more broadly adopted, not eliminated! You can’t tell me that this isn’t costing money. They gonna take all the Ghost Broncos down at the football stadium? What else are they gonna do? Are they gonna paint over the Ghost Bronco at the 50 yard line with the ‘frosted tips’ logo or worse, this W with a circle around it that looks like central’s yellow? That can’t be free. The entire university has been looking for a streamlined identity, that is true. Ghost Bronco is that identity for athletics. Are we going to see our student athletes in Brown and ‘central’ yellow gear? They’ve replaced black with grey as a secondary color. TERRIBLE. Someone needs to show leadership and put a stop to this. Sign the petition to make your voice heard. www.GhostBronco.com

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