News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
(513) 529-1950 fax

Miami adopts new lantern logo


OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami University unveils a new logo this month, one created from images that represent Miami traditions and symbolize learning.

Making its debut this month on new stationery and business cards, the logo is composed of a lantern, styled after the lanterns found throughout the Oxford campus; an arch that represents the Upham Hall arch; the founding date of 1809; and beams of light that represent the enlightenment that comes from education.

With several familiar symbols long associated with the university--such as the university seal--why is there a need for a new look?

The existing symbols are not effective for broad application, said Arlene Werts, director of publications and chair of the committee that developed a new graphic identity. The result has been an inconsistent mixture of graphic images, she said.

Miami's seal, for example, is a formal image that does not function well in student recruitment material, on vehicles or on signs. While at some universities the seal easily translates into a graphic identifier, "ours is extremely difficult to read when reduced and doesn't have our name in English," noted Werts.

Although the dignified Indian head is used as a symbol of the university's connection to the Miami Tribe and as an athletic logo, it says nothing about higher education. Neither does the new RedHawks emblem used by athletic teams.

Traditionally, universities have had separate athletic and academic logos, Werts said.

The new logo fills the university's long-standing need for a consistent graphic identity, said Richard Little, senior director for university communications.

"The logo and accompanying wordmark will provide a more effective way of promoting the university, as well as serving as a consistent graphic identifier," Little said. "It's flexible enough that it can be used a number of ways."

Eventually the logo will be introduced on other printed materials and throughout the campus on signage, vehicles and in other applications. Use of the logo will be phased in, to avoid additional costs, and people should use up their old stationery and cards before ordering the new logo version, Little said.

The new logo also has merchandising possibilities, since it can be used on everything from sweatshirts to glassware. The new look also is designed to be adapted easily by divisions, departments, alumni chapters, etc., for use in their materials.

The identity program was designed by Lipman Hearne Inc., Chicago, a marketing/communications firm that specializes in higher education. The firm interviewed faculty and staff before submitting several concepts to the 11-member graphic identity committee.

The lantern and arch logo was the overwhelming favorite. It fared especially well in focus group testing of both Miami alumni and high school students.

"A distinctive graphic symbol that quickly will identify Miami University on everything from recruitment and admissions materials to the university's Web site is long overdue," said President James Garland. "Its advantages and uses cannot be overemphasized."


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