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TODAY news for Thursday, March 17, 2008

Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center news

Frequently asked questions about the new institutional logo

Why is Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center (LLUAHSC) seeking a new logo?
Most organizations revise their logo from time to time to ensure that it reflects an up-to-date image. In fact, this will be the 11th logo in the organization’s history. As they looked to the future, leaders and staff  throughout the organization felt it was time to review the logo and graphic standards again to see how well they served the institution (these were last updated in 1990). Most agreed it was time to update both to support a more contemporary image of the organization, to create a more unified brand, and to address some concerns that were voiced about the existing logo.

How was the icon selected?
Many logos were developed using a variety of symbols that represented different aspects of the institution. Throughout the development phase, feedback was provided and modifications were made as a result of that feedback. In the end, four logos were selected by executive leadership for testing to determine what message they conveyed about the institution. The testing process included conducting nine consumer focus groups, eight on-campus forums, and development of a web-based survey designed for students, alumni, and other targeted audiences not easily reached by the forums. In all, 2,220 people weighed in on the decision during the testing phase—not including those who shared their comments at the forums. The executive leadership used this information to make the final recommendation to the board, which voted to approve the new logo on February 26, 2008.

Discussions about the logo reference the master brand. What does this mean?
Upon recommendation from executive leadership, the board has approved the concept of using Loma Linda University as the master brand for the organization. The master brand is the unifying term that connects all of the entities within the organization, making it easy for the public to see the relationship between the various entities. In practical application, this means that whenever the logo appears, the words Loma Linda University will appear on the top line of text in the logo, just above the name of the entity that is being represented. Loma Linda University is already widely known and respected, and as individual entities are linked to LLU, they are strengthened by their connection to the overall brand. In many cases, consumers already refer to the organization as a whole as “Loma Linda” or “Loma Linda University,” so this doesn’t represent a departure from the way the institution is already perceived by consumers.

What does the symbolism in the logo mean?
Lighted torch. A part of LLU’s logo since 1959, the lighted torch symbolizes the illuminating power of knowledge and the central role of the Holy Spirit in teaching and healing. It also references the institution’s call to serve as a light to the world.

Staff of Aesculapius. Long associated with medicine—and part of the institutional logo since the 1920s—this represents the combined services of all the healing arts and sciences.

Christian cross. This universal Christian symbol acknowledges the role of Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer of all. Bible Depicted at the base, the open book represents the Word of God, the source of the Christ-centered commission and the inspiration for the organization’s humanitarian endeavors.

Oak branch. On the left of the shield, the oak branch is a symbol of the civic wreath of oak leaves and acorns once given to one who saved a life.

Laurel branch. The branch to the right represents the laurel wreath, which signifies achievement and honor. Shown together, these two branches form a wreath suggesting that the life-saving and life-enhancing work of the health sciences brings with it an obligation to act honorably, courageously, and selflessly.

Motto. Inscribed on the scroll below the shield is the institution’s motto, “To Make Man Whole.”

Whom will this logo change impact?
This will impact all LLUAHSC entities—the hospitals, the University, and all affiliated organizations.

What will happen to all of the logos now being used?
All current logos will be replaced with the new logo. Many different logos are currently being used throughout the organization. This not only creates brand confusion in the marketplace, but is costly and difficult to manage internally. It also fails to visually connect the individual entities to the master brand of Loma Linda University and to each other, thus missing the opportunity to help build brand recognition. Having a single logo will contribute to a more unified, cohesive brand—strengthening the image of the organization as a whole, as well as the images of the individual entities.

But what if a center, institute, or school wishes to be distinctive? Isn’t having a separate logo a way to achieve that?
Because the master brand Loma Linda University refers to a widely respected and well-recognized institution, all of its affiliated entities gain credibility by being associated with it. While it may be true that a center, institute or school needs to be distinctive in the marketplace, an entity loses the positive attributes of the overall organization when it fails to identify itself clearly as a member of the recognized master brand. Creating a distinctive brand for a particular service is best achieved through a marketing strategy rather than by creating a separate logo.

How were the colors of the logos chosen?
The colors of the logo were selected based on the visual message that would best represent the institution. The meanings of colors in various cultures were researched and a color was selected that delivers a message of strength, innovation, and leadership, that has a commanding presence, and that won’t easily become outdated. These are some of the positive attributes of red:

• Symbol of leadership, courage, energy, strength, activity, vitality, power, innovation.

• Strong, sophisticated color with impact.

• Has positive attributes in other countries (symbol of life in Japan; faith and power in India; luck, good fortune, and happiness in China).

• Used by other respected schools such as Stanford, Harvard, University of Chicago.

• Has positive attributes among numerous religious groups.

Why weren’t the university colors of purple and gold used for the logo?
The logo color needed to convey the attributes the organization most wished to project. These included innovation, leadership, energy, strength, power and vibrancy. The color needed to have presence, sophistication and staying power. The selection process was based on which colors best met these criteria. As part of the creative exploratory process, the university colors were considered—along with many other prospective colors. Ultimately, however, purple and gold were not chosen for several reasons:

• While gold is a dignified and sophisticated color, it is difficult to execute consistently, often changing color in different types of applications. It performs well in applications where a metallic ink or foil option is available, such as on a letterhead and business cards or in custom printed materials. In other applications—like newspaper ads or billboards—gold often turns to less desirable shades of tan, beige or yellow due to production limitations. None of these alternatives to gold convey the dignified, sophisticated look that LLUAHSC desired.

• Purple is the hardest color for the eye to discern. It also tends to succeed either as an old, regal color signifying luxury and wealth, or as a playful, fun color. This may be the reason that purple was infrequently seen used in the logos for the more than 120 academic medical centers or academic health sciences centers reviewed. While some of its attributes could represent LLUAHSC, purple was found to be a less effective option than the color finally selected.

The colors chosen—regent red and platinum gray—were the ones which best conveyed the desired attributes for the logo. Regent red is a strong color with high visibility, impact, presence and sophistication that conveys the attributes that characterize LLUAHSC. Platinum gray provides an upscale metallic option when printed using a foil technique, but also renders acceptably when the foil option is unavailable.

How will the university’s colors work with the new logo colors?
No recommendation was made to change the university’s colors. Because purple and red are beside one another on the color wheel, they create an analogous color scheme when used together in design. Color theorists describe analogous color schemes as harmonious and pleasing to the eye. For these reasons, the logo colors should be able to be successfully integrated with the university colors should they ever need to be used together.

What will become of the individual school seals?
The schools seals will no longer be used because schools will adopt the new logo and will use the newly revised LLU seal on their diplomas.

When will this change happen?
The organization will begin using the new logo Monday, August 11, 2008.

What should be done about ordering materials with the new logo on them?

• When possible, order enough to maintain supplies through Monday, August 11, 2008.

• Ideally, strive to use up as much of the inventories with the old logos as possible prior to that time, although that won’t always be possible.

• Plan to place orders for business cards and stationery far enough in advance so they will be ready for use August 11. Because of the large quantity of orders that will be placed through LLUHS Printing Services, a 10 to 15 working day turnaround may be necessary during the first six months, so order early if you can. Orders for business cards and stationery can be placed as early as June 2, even though the orders will not be distributed until the launch date. The details of the transition are still being planned, so watch for more information as to how inventories with the old logos will be handled.

Can the logo be used before this date if something needs to be reordered prior to August 11?
The logo should not be used before its launch date. Of course, printing will need to be completed prior to Monday, August 11—even though the materials can’t be used before then.

Need more information?
If you have additional questions, contact Isabel Peruyera at iperuyera@llu.edu or Richard Weismeyer at rweismeyer@llu.edu.

TODAY news for Thursday, March 17, 2008