The Importance of Identity Standards
At St. Catharine College, it is vital that all visual elements that represent the college and its image do so consistently and with integrity. Colleges and universities across the country recognize the importance of image consistency, developing unified standards to protect their images, enhance the value of their name, and build a foundation for successful branding. With successful branding, a college or university presents itself consistently over time, creating an emotional connection with its target audience.
Visual elements don't mean just print ads or television commercials. It is any touch point that reaches the target audience. E-mail signatures, name tags, even signage around the campus are all elements that can make or break a consistent identity with our audience.
A proliferation of inconsistent identities and symbols creates confusion in the minds of audiences whose support we seek: students, prospective students, parents, alumni, and donors. While logos and symbols are not the only elements of an institutional "brand," they are its visual representation and extension. When that visual representation is inconsistent, it follows
that the institution is perceived as being "disconnected" or inconsistent.
On the other hand, research shows that when a visual identity is used consistently over time it creates an enhanced image, instant recognition and higher recall among prospective students, parents, etc. It also leads to greater inclusion in the "top-of-mind" set of institutions from which prospective students choose for their higher education.
Consistency in visual identity also protects the institution's patents, licenses, and trademarks and increases the value of its identity over the long term.
By following these standards, St. Catharine College builds not only consistency, but protects our most valuable asset – our name.