Almost overnight and without too much fanfare, Concordia’s new logo was unveiled just over a week ago. The fourth in the history of the university, the change in look is due to the results of a $30,000 survey taken last fall.
Marcel Proulx, an independent researcher in research and strategic planning, said the survey revealed the school in an identity crisis. He said the old logo was not representative of Concordia and seemed to stand for a traditional university that was far from the public’s perception of the school.
“We didn’t start the process by saying we should change the logo. That came at the tail end of the process,” said Sami Antaki, the university’s director of marketing and communications. “The one thing that is on every bit of information that goes anywhere [representing Concordia] is the logo.
“We then had to examine: does the logo that exists speak to high quality, daring, diversity and approachability? And the results kept on coming back that no, it doesn’t.”
Looking at the messages they were getting from the survey, Proulx and Antaki found Concordia had no uniform look. An estimated 38 different fonts being used across the university in communications didn’t help.
Proulx and Antaki said the new logo needed to be based on four different criteria. “What we concluded is that the university was perceived as a high quality institution, one that was daring, diverse in nature and one of the things that was clearly distinctive in addition to that is this notion of approachability,” says Proulx.
Antaki believes that the new logo, with the gold in relief over burgundy, the open shield, the font and usage of both English and French, are some of the elements that stand out on the logo to represent Concordia as a high quality and approachable university.
The conclusion was reached in the university’s reputation study. Antaki noted survey about Concordia’s old crest was one of the most comprehensive studies undertaken by the university. Surveys were sent to school executives, corporations, members of faculty, alumni, students and applicants. A third of the staff and more than 4,000 students took part in the study.
Antaki believes that the cost of the survey will be justified by the university’s new visibility. “I have a feeling that the value that this will bring the university in terms of visibility and in terms of reputation enhancement is worth a lot more,” said Antaki, pointing out that publications such as The Gazette, The Globe and Mail, Le Devoir and Infopresse have published articles on the new logo.
The new crest, which is now used for all publications from Concordia University, will first be seen at the EV building and will spread across both campuses as old signage is gradually replaced.