Earlier today, we reported that the prestigious Stanford University quietly, but officially, changed its logo.
The question on many an alum’s mind: Why?
Business Insider talked to Lisa Lapin, associate VP of university communications and the woman who oversaw the update, and it looks like the reason for the change was very Stanford-appropriate.
It turns out that the university — which is in the heart of Silicon Valley and has produced tech giants including the founders of Google, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard — was using a logo that just didn’t work in the digital world.
“The other mark is very pretty and academic and classic, but it was designed specifically for print and stationery,” Lapin said.”The world has changed in the last 10 years.”
Lapin explained that the previous font “didn’t work digitally. It’s too thin and fine. People were struggling with the mark online, and we were struggling even further when we were making mobile sites — It doesn’t translate to an iPhone screen.”
The previous logo also didn’t translate well to signatures (like for the school of Engineering) and clothing, so the university primarily went with block letters that merely resembled the official font.
Thus, Stanford hired Bright, a design firm out of Marina del Rey, to create a new logo. Bright had previously done the mark for UCLA.
Photo: Stanford Law School
“They spent a lot of time studying Stanford’s architecture,” Lapin told BI. “They did come up with a font that reflects the architecture of the campus, primarily the arches.”Since the logo is now a trademarked piece of original art, this solves another challenge of Stanford’s old mark: Licensing.
The last logo was Sabon font, and Lapin explained that was expensive to licence.
“Lots of units wanted to have it throughout the campus, so we were spending,” she said.
Now Stanford owns the logo design, which means that it can also prevent others from replicating the school’s likeness by just using Sabon art.
But don’t worry, the emblematic tree and Stanford seal aren’t going anywhere.
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