This summer, Fordham University established new style guidelines for its corporate identity. Why does a university, much less a Jesuit university, need a corporate identity? To those who consider the term at all, “corporate identity” evokes the images of familiar commercial concerns: IBM’s blue logo; Nike’s “swoosh,” or perhaps the CBS Television eye. But the Fordham logo (above) incorporating the name and seal, is different. The logo, color, and text are just the visible tip of University’s intellectual and spiritual identity.
“Necessary to our advancement is the clear and direct association of all of the University’s schools, departments, programs, centers and institutes with each other and with the symbols that have been the graphic expression of the heritage, values and traditions of the University for 165 years,” wrote Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, in his introduction to the Graphic Identity Guide issued in August.
Fordham’s “branding,” in other words, is graphic shorthand that conveys the University’s mission and integrity at a glance. The logo, of course, is only as valuable as Fordham’s reputation for academic and moral excellence; the map is not the territory. Nonetheless, the consistent use of images, colors and formats ensures that even casual viewers of University publications and materials will immediately associate them with Fordham and its traditions.
The Graphic Identity Guide is available in print format from the Office of Procurement, (718) 817-4910 and in PDF format. For questions about the University’s policies on the use of its graphic identity material, please contact Catherine S. Spencer, assistant vice president for marketing and communications: (212) 636-6522, email@example.com. For information about obtaining the University logo and seal, or for technical questions about graphics materials, please contact Marjorie Coyne, art director, marketing and communications: (212) 636-6539, firstname.lastname@example.org.