- Associated Press - Monday, April 17, 2017

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Northern State University is looking for some help to define the school’s brand.

It’s asking students, faculty and staff and community members to answer a 19-question survey to gauge familiarity with the university as a whole and with its many parts.

“I don’t think we’re looking to rebrand the institution, as far as the logos go,” said Justin Fraase, director of communications and marketing at Northern. “I think the bigger issue we have as a university is we have maybe too many logos, maybe too many logo combinations.”

It is part of an effort to better market Northern as a regional university, Fraase said, who started his job at the beginning of the semester.

“We’re calling it a brand refresh because we want to refresh what’s going on,” he told the Aberdeen American News (https://bit.ly/2o5ysti ).



One of the major things the communications and marketing department wants to change is the university’s tag line: Be you. Be us. Be Northern.

“I can’t guarantee that it will change, but that is definitely one thing that we’ve circled as something that we’d like to just refresh,” Fraase said. “I think it’s been around for almost a decade. For tag lines, that’s a bit long.”

One thing that won’t change is the school’s wolf logo or mascot.

However, there will be work to create guidelines for the school’s logos and mascots, and the school has entered licensing agreement with Learfield Licensing Partners. Learfield is a trademark management company specializing in collegiate licensing and branding.

The partnership will give Northern more control over who sells branded merchandise and what it looks like, Fraase said. Northern will also collect royalties on the merchandise.

“I don’t necessarily think we’re going to be cash rich because of this,” Fraase said. “It’s more important for us to get a firmer grasp of the colors and the logos.”

Standards will be introduced for other branded items, like business cards, envelopes and even email signatures, Fraase said. There will also be use guidelines for the different logos. The university seal won’t show up on T-shirts, but will be on diploma frames.

The standards also specifically define Northern’s maroon and gold tones so they are consistent whether they are used for a T-shirt, in print or on a computer screen.

“With today’s technology, you can do a lot of print, even in cloth and shirts and stuff, that ensures that your maroon is your maroon and your gold is your gold,” Fraase said.

Whether or not community members are alumni, they’re still affected by Northern, Fraase said. That’s why it’s important to get feedback from across the Aberdeen area and not just from those directly involved with the university.

“The community plays a tremendous part in what goes on here at Northern,” Fraase said.

People who don’t attend events or visit campus regularly are still hearing about Northern and campus events.

Any changes will be launched in the fall 2017 semester, with full implementation expected July 2018.

“This is the time for the feedback,” Fraase said. “It’s not gonna be in July when we come out with something new.”

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, https://www.aberdeennews.com

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