|TO:||Members of the Miami University Community|
|DATE:||July 12, 2012|
|RE:||Miami Domain Name and New Logo Requirements|
In the increasingly competitive higher education environment, it is imperative that Miami strengthen national and international recognition of our exceptional quality and the value of a Miami degree. Every communication from individuals or units at Miami presents an opportunity to reinforce our image and to increase recognition. One of the most important keys to success in this communication is to consistently use readily recognizable identifiers.
As part of strategic branding initiatives, our University Communications and Marketing (UCM) staff conducted surveys internally and externally regarding preferences for the Miami University official logo and web domain name. The goal was to gather important input to enhance the national reputation of Miami and develop a stronger connection to our audiences through a more widely recognized identity mark and an easy-to-recall website name.
There were nearly 5,000 responses, a clear indication of the passion Miami faculty, staff, students, and alumni feel about our university. Following is information about the survey results and next steps, including the process for implementing the domain name and for creating more consistency in use of the Miami logo.
Internet Domain Name
Overwhelmingly, all audiences felt the www.muohio.edu domain name should change. The tested options were MiamiOH.edu, MiamiU.edu, and MiamiOhio.edu. MiamiOH and MiamiOhio both tested well. Recently accepted students, prospective students, and guidance counselors preferred MiamiOH, while internal groups slightly favored MiamiOhio.
Because no other academic institution in the state of Ohio is using OH, the media typically depicts our name as Miami (OH), and it clearly resonates with our priority web audience of prospective students, the decision is to convert Miami’s Internet domain name to www.MiamiOH.edu. Note that while the domain name is not case sensitive, it is highly desirable to use this form to emphasize our identity.
Effective immediately, both www.MiamiOH.edu and www.muohio.edu take users to the same destination. In addition, several URLs will automatically redirect when using the new domain name (such as www.MiamiOH.edu/president) and the complete site conversion is ongoing.
IT is also working towards an August 1st date in which you will be encouraged to use the domain name in your email address, e.g. person@MiamiOH.edu. The muohio.edu domain name will continue to work for at least two years; it will automatically redirect visitors to the new domain. EDUCAUSE, which administers university Internet domains federally, is considering a policy change to allow universities to maintain two domain names indefinitely, and we are advocating strongly for that change. If they allow it, the muohio.edu web address will always redirect to MiamiOH.edu.
Logo, Required Use of Logo and Phasing Out Independent Logos
The affinity for and recognition of the beveled-M were highly positive factors for Miami. The vast majority of respondents (more than 90 percent!) indicated the beveled-M should be our official mark, and we are adopting that logo. UCM is developing a comprehensive standards manual this summer to guide usage in combination with campus divisions and departments.
The strong recognition of the Miami M also demonstrates how effective it can be when we visually unite the university behind its use. To strengthen the recognition of our logo, it is vital that we consistently use the same identity in our visual representation, just as many other universities have done (examples of several of these are provided in the PDF documents linked below). Logos that are specific to a program or unit compete for visibility against our own identity, create confused perceptions among our audiences, and dilute the effectiveness of our brand in a competitive marketplace.
Thus, as soon as possible, all Miami University units and offices should begin to phase out independently created logos and incorporate the new logo standard. UCM can provide assistance in adopting the new logo in the design of visual presentations, and several resources and downloadable versions are already in place on this website (with more to come). There is flexibility in logo versions to accommodate varying layout styles. To ensure correct usage and maximum effectiveness, all new publications and materials should be routed through UCM for review and approval.
To answer questions you may have, we have prepared a list of frequently asked questions on both the changes to the domain name and the logo. Our goal is to phase out use of the lantern logo and independent logos by the end of 2012. We encourage you to exhaust all current supplies of materials first. For those who need to print new material quickly, we encourage you to use the new web address and logo and/or to consult with UCM for design assistance. If possible, please hold your order until the standards are issued.
The widespread and consistent use of the beveled-M logo and domain name will significantly strengthen the recognition of Miami. We are moving forward with a more visible and cohesive approach. I want to thank everyone for your efforts to make this critically important transition.