UPDATED: Purdue Fort Wayne logo unveiled
IPFW on Thursday unveiled its Purdue University Fort Wayne logo and has employed New York-based SME Inc. as a brand marketing partner.
The marketing staffs of IPFW and Purdue’s main West Lafayette campus worked together on the new logo, said recently appointed IPFW/PUFW chancellor Ronald Elsenbaumer, sporting a gold-and-black striped tie.
Elsenbaumer and IPFW interim marketing director Kathryn Hopkins revealed the logo to a crowd that included media and IPFW staff. The gold-and-black logo is similar to Purdue’s main and northwest Indiana campus logos. Indiana University-Purdue University’s logo for the Indianapolis campus is crimson with IU on it.
IPFW is still awaiting Higher Learning Commission approval to separate the two universities and create Purdue University Fort Wayne on the campus the two have shared at 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E. since 1964.
Plans are to become PUFW on July 1. Among the university’s recent decisions, after employing SimpsonScarborough, a market research firm near Washington, D.C., was to announce the school colors for PUFW won’t be IPFW’s blue and white but the gold and black of Purdue’s main campus.
Elsenbaumer told The News-Sentinel in December that the local mascot would remain the mastodon, which SME confirmed Thursday. The extinct mammal was chosen in 1970, soon after the IPFW Geology Department helped excavate an adult mastodon skeleton and baby mastodon skull near Angola.
During the transition from IPFW to PUFW, students will likely still be wearing the IPFW-logoed apparel, Elsenbaumer said. Items including a travel mug with the new logo were available at the news conference for attendees but haven’t been ordered by the IPFW bookstore yet, where plenty of IPFW merchandise remains available.
It will now be SME’s job to get PUFW into the consciousness of people locally as well as of potential students across the country.
Conor O’Flaherty, SME director of brand strategy and development, who attended the news conference with Jon Hans, SME strategic brand writer, said they are part of a 12-member team who will be doing the branding, which will include TV commercials, outdoor signs, print ads and digital formats. He could not give any time periods for a rollout of the information but said “there’s multiple dates.”
“We have to establish this brand,” said O’Flaherty, whose work includes helping Harvard with its athletics branding and a tagline for the University of North Dakota.
SME was chosen after a brand implementation team that included IPFW staff reviewed proposals from marketing firms and brought in finalists to give detailed presentations.
Elsenbaumer said of SME, “What really impressed me was the level of research they did on us with very little time.”
IPFW had put out a request for proposals in November when it announced the change in school colors.