UH Board of Regents Receive Recommendation on System-Wide Graphic Identity Program

Branding sub-committee presents strategy that includes participation from university, community and local graphic designers

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jul 11, 2003

HONOLULU—A sub-committee of the UH Board of Regents (BOR) charged with examining the best strategies for moving forward on the system-wide graphic identity and branding program today presented their recommendation to the BOR for consideration. The recommendation is expected to be voted on at the September BOR meeting.

"The Board of Regents is committed to an inclusive process that brings together all the elements of our community in creating a powerful and consistent brand image for the University of Hawai'i," said Board of Regents Vice-Chair Kitty Lagareta. "I am confident this process will yield a design that reflects the uniqueness of our history and island environment as well as the breadth and strength of our educational system."

Lagareta went on to praise the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the local design community for their support and assistance in this process.

"Stacey Leong Mills of AIGA and our local graphic design professionals led by Jan Nakamura, Momi Cazimero and Clarence Lee have dedicated their time and expertise to help the university throughout this process and I am grateful for their support, their passion for the university and their collaborative assistance."

The sub-committee proposed that the university work with the Hawai'i chapter of AIGA to develop a process, in the form of a request for proposals (RFP) that would encourage any professional designers or design firms to submit examples of their work. Three finalists will be identified by a selection committee. Each of the three firms selected as

finalists will receive a $5,000 stipend to create a UH logo design. The winning design will be determined from the three finalists and that firm will receive an additional $5,000 stipend to refine the selected design. All funding for this project will come from royalty fees from the sale of logo merchandise - no taxpayer dollars will be used.

"The university has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of passion and enthusiasm from the community. The people of Hawai'i care deeply about the UH system and how it is represented," said Paul Costello, UH vice president for external affairs and university relations. "I am pleased with the sub-committee‘s recommendation because establishing a strong UH brand is our most valuable asset in recruiting top students, expanding our presence here, on the mainland and internationally and unifying our ten campuses."

Robert Rytter and Associates was notified, in a letter sent today, that their contract was terminated.

BackgroundIn the 2002 strategic plan, the university was charged with advancing the unique identities of each individual college while communicating the benefits of one integrated system. The Office of External Affairs and University Relations immediately began examining how each campus and the university system was perceived both internally and externally.

Research showed that UH‘s brand image was fractured with over 150 logos in use system-wide. They also found that the university had no distinct message or theme and that many programs failed to mention their affiliation with the University of Hawai'i. Without a consistent brand image, it was nearly impossible for audiences to recognize the values of the university identified by the strategic plan such as access, affordability, excellence, diversity, fairness and equity.