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The Journal Gazette

  • Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer unveils the official logo for Purdue University Fort Wayne during a news conference Thursday on the school's Skybridge.

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Friday, January 05, 2018 1:00 am

Logo unveiled for Purdue Fort Wayne

Company selected for brand marketing

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

IPFW on Thursday unveiled the logo for Purdue Fort Wayne – an image that should look familiar.

It's Purdue University's logo above the words “Fort Wayne.”

SME Inc. was selected as the brand marketing partner to develop and implement the new Purdue University Fort Wayne brand, which is pending Higher Learning Commission approval, officials also announced.

The announcements come about six months before IPFW becomes two institutions.

In December 2016, IU and Purdue trustees approved an agreement for IPFW's governance establishing two institutions beginning July 1. IU will have a lower profile and focus on health sciences. Purdue will handle all other academic programs.

Purdue is the managing partner of IPFW.

Choosing a brand marketing company wasn't done lightly, Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer said.

“After months of work and gathering research to ensure we find the best partner, I am thrilled to announce our collaboration with SME and look forward to working with them as we create the Purdue University Fort Wayne brand,” he said in a statement.

“SME has a proven track record of working with many well-known higher education institutions including Harvard University, the University of Louisville, NYU Law, and Purdue University.”

The Learfield company, which has offices in Indianapolis, is expected to build a cohesive brand identity authentic to the university that sets the foundation for growth.

Last year, IPFW contracted Virginia marketing firm SimpsonScarborough, which works with higher-education institutions, to help with rebranding. The company surveyed high school students, IPFW students, faculty and alumni.

Information generated through that partnership was shared with SME, according to IPFW.

Ed O'Hara, president and chief creative officer at SME, said the company is honored and excited for the opportunity.

“Together our goal will be to bring this university's unique voice to the forefront and inspire all stakeholders with a message that outlines the possibilities that the future will bring,” he said in a statement.

The colors of the new logo – black and gold – shouldn't come as a surprise. IPFW in November said Purdue Fort Wayne will assume the colors of its mother school.

IPFW's marketing communications department worked with Purdue marketing officials in West Lafayette to develop the signature logo, IPFW said.

The athletic teams will remain the Mastodons, IPFW has said, but in consideration of the past, athletic colors are still under consideration. They might not be blue and white, a spokesperson said in November, but they might not be just black and gold, either.