Last week’s third annual Elon Day was highly successful; according to the Elon Day website, the university raised a record-breaking $955,000 through the contributions of donors and attendees.
But more than just raising money, Elon Day was successful for bringing together Elon students and alumni from all over the world to create strong and lasting memories. For me, one of the most notable moments from this past Elon Day was an announcement I was not expecting: for the first time in nearly 15 years, Elon has updated the design of its brand.
While I certainly don’t want to denounce the previous logo designs, I think the choice to rebrand was smart, allowing for a welcome change to how we as a university present ourselves. What I find surprising about the announcement, though, is how long it’s been since the Elon brand was last updated.
For those who aren’t up on their Elon history, the last major change to Elon’s brand was the historic adoption of the phoenix as the new university mascot over its previous identity, The Fightin’ Christians, in 2000. Since then, the Phoenix mascot has naturally become synonymous with Elon, both in terms of how the university is recognized around the world and how we as a community identify ourselves and interact with each other.
Of course, the recent changes to the university’s brand are not nearly as drastic, and yet it still feels like they have been a long time coming. Should we ask if it will be another 15 years before any changes are made to the new designs?
Of course, new logos such as the monogram and leaf shield should be reserved for major occasions, but smaller alterations such as new fonts should be utilized more often. While such changes don’t have to be frequent and should not be made trivially, the benefits they provide to the university’s image should not be understated.
I hope that as we move forward, we can encourage the university to be more open to experimenting and revising its brand, and that such steps are necessary to provide a means not only for us as students to connect with each other, but for Elon as a school to connect with the entire world.