The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

UVM adopts new logo

Olivia Miller
UVM instituted a new brand positioning including a new logo to replace the Old Mill Tower.

UVM has adopted new brand positioning, including a new logo, set to be phased in over the next year and a half, according to a Feb. 28 press release

The change in logo from the tower of Old Mill to a “V” outlined with a shield is designed to be more unique and draw a quicker connection to Vermont compared to the old logo, according to the press release.

The new brand positioning reads: “For individuals committed to a thriving future for people and planet, UVM is the leading university where discovery, creativity, community, and action coalesce to secure a healthier, greener tomorrow,” shortened to the core, “For People and Planet,” according to the brand refresh webpage.

The new positioning emphasizes the University’s academic and research activities on human health, thriving communities and the environment, according to the press release. 

“‘For people and planet’ captures concisely and authentically all that we stand for,” stated UVM President Suresh Garimella in the press release. “It speaks to the sense of purpose that so many of our students, faculty, and staff express as they pursue their studies and conduct research with global impact.”

The new positioning statement will guide the creators of UVM’s marketing materials and general communications, according to the press release.

The new logo surprised senior Shea Gilmour, she said.

“I didn’t know that it was going to happen honestly, until I heard everyone start talking about it,” she said. “It just seems unnecessary to do in the middle of the semester.”

UVM partnered with Generation Communication and Branding of Hudson, New York to create the new logo and branding, according to the press release. The total cost was $145,650, funded by both UVM and the UVM Foundation.

Sophomore Ellie Armitage thinks the new logo and branding are not worth the money spent to develop them, she said.

“It’s not that significant of a change in my opinion,” she said. “It seems like so much money for such an inconsequential change.”

Gilmour believes the money could have had better uses such as fixing up on-campus housing and paying professors and faculty more, she said.

“It’s not a crazy amount of money, but it’s still a big amount of money that could have been dispersed elsewhere,” Gilmour said.

Development of the new branding included a steering committee made up of faculty and staff, according to the press release. Group and individual interviews included students, alumni, deans, trustees and university leadership as well.

Through a series of brainstorming sessions over the past year, constituents from the University community also helped develop the new branding, according to the brand refresh webpage.

“Those contributors provided clarity on our unique, contemporary strengths as an institution, and helped refocus the narrative to ensure we’re telling the story of UVM clearly and effectively on the world stage,” the webpage states.

The block-letter “V” used in the logo has already been in use by UVM athletics, according to the press release.

Armitage initially disliked the logo but understands some of the reasoning behind it, she said.

“I think it’s growing on me a little bit,” she said. “I understand having just a big ‘V’ and that it does match our athletic logo a little bit more.”

Gilmour thinks the new logo is plain compared to the old one, she said.

“I feel like the old logo kind of had some character and this one is just a plain green background with a ‘V,’” Gilmour said. “I feel like they could have done a little bit more if they were going to fix it up and I feel like it didn’t need to be fixed up.”

The new logo will also better represent that UVM’s work extends beyond campus across the state, according to the brand refresh webpage. The new logo is more recognizable to UVM’s statewide, national and international audiences, according to the webpage.

“I don’t get why they’re putting such an emphasis on the entirety of Vermont instead of the University,” Armitage said. “It doesn’t speak that to me.”

The new logo will be phased-in over time in order to reduce environmental impact and control costs, according to the press release. This allows UVM to use up existing materials with the old logo before replacing them with new ones.

“Most appearances of the new logo will be digital at first, such as on websites, apps, and social media platforms,” the press release states.

Completion of the logo roll-out is expected in mid-2025, according to the press release.

From now until June, the new logo will be implemented on items like stationery, updated CATCards, retail merchandise and lamp post banners, according to the brand refresh webpage.

From July until December, the new logo will appear on CATS buses, digital signage and digital displays, new exterior building signs and internal apps such as myUVM and DUO, according to the webpage.

From January to June 2025, the new logo will be added to remaining exterior building signage and placemaking signs at Main Street and East Avenue, South Prospect Street and Colchester Avenue and Trinity Campus, according to the webpage.

“Great universities evolve,” stated Joel Seligman, UVM’s chief communications and marketing officer, in the press release. “We have recently climbed into the top 100 public research universities in the U.S. Our new positioning and logo system reflect who we are today and convey the global reach of our faculty’s research.”

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