- Guidelines and Policies
Saint Louis University Logos FAQ
Q: Why are the University and Athletics marks changing?
A: The University logo, as well as the Billiken and other Athletic marks, have not been updated since the mid-to-late 1990s. After 20 years, a brand refresh was overdue and was highlighted in an external marketing review conducted by PulsePoint Group in the spring of 2014.
The new logos will assist in elevating SLU's national recognition; unify our brand across the institution; and set the stage for our bicentennial in 2018. In addition, there are a number of reasons why SLU and other colleges and universities refresh their brand marks:
- To enhance the institution's reputation and prestige
- To stay relevant and current
- To contend with and thrive against competitors
- To modernize and streamline the brand
- To create a consistent and unified brand system
- To increase engagement and recruiting
- To ensure that marks are optimized for use on all digital platforms
- To increase merchandise sales
Q: What does the University logo signify?
A: The Saint Louis University logo includes several key symbols that represent SLU's history and traditions. It also draws inspiration from our region and surrounding landscape.
- The fleur-de-lis — a reference to the city's French heritage and a Catholic symbol associated with the Holy Trinity — has been used at SLU since the 1920s.
- The cross represents SLU's Catholic identity.
- The crown and shield symbolize King St. Louis IX, namesake of the city and the University.
- The fluidity of the fleur-de-lis and the lines connecting to the fleur-de-lis petals represent the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in St. Louis.
Q: What should we expect from this rebranding effort?
A: Our new identity exudes excellence, while being true to our heritage, history and traditional symbols. The system is modular and flexible for our brand's diverse needs, including digital, and is legible at every touch point. This will help increase perception, engagement, recruitment and merchandise sales.
Q: Who was involved in making the changes to SLU's marks?
A: The Divisions of Marketing and Communications and Student Development and the Department of Athletics worked with external design consultants Olson — which has worked with a number of universities as well as professional sports teams — for more than a year on the rebranding. Design concepts were shared with more than 150 faculty, students and staff. Groups involved in the selection process included the President's Coordinating Council, President's Advisory Council, the Brand Steering Committee, and the University Marketing Council. In addition, Athletics sought input from a variety of additional student groups, including student-athletes. The new marks also were shared with the Board of Trustees and approved by the Board during its September 2015 meeting.
Q: Does the new University logo follow design best practices?
A: Yes. Iconic graphic artist Paul Rand, who designed the IBM, ABC and UPS logos, said the best logos are distinctive, simple, useable, memorable and clear, among other qualities. Rand explains that a logo is a signature mark that identifies an entity. It is not a description of the entity. In fact, a logo's meaning comes from the quality of the institution it symbolizes, not from the graphic itself. The new University logo is simplified, fully useable in digital and print platforms, unique to SLU, and presents a timeless image of Saint Louis University.
Q: How will the new marks be rolled out?
A: The University's new visual identity was officially unveiled on Nov. 13, 2015. Complete implementation, including replacement of existing logos and marks across the institution, is expected to take 12 to 18 months. The goal is to have everything fully in place by the time SLU celebrates its bicentennial in 2018.
Q: Are the new logos effective now? If yes, should I replace materials that don't feature the new logos?
A: The logos are effective immediately for all new communications, whether in print or digital. However, you are encouraged to use stationery, business cards and other printed items with the previous marks until it is time to reorder. Stationery and business cards with the new marks are available from SLU's stationery vendor beginning Nov. 16, 2015. New stationery can be ordered at the Bender, Inc. website.
Q: Why is it important to have a consistent brand for SLU?
A: The strongest, most recognizable brand for any campus unit is the Saint Louis University brand. Independent logos can diffuse and confuse the public perception of SLU. While it may seem important to differentiate your unit, the most effective way to gain recognition is to use the SLU brand and to link your unit's reputation to the power and prestige of Saint Louis University. Keep in mind that outside audiences don't focus on our organizational charts; they mostly see all units as Saint Louis University. That is an asset, not a detriment, and we can use that strength to benefit the whole University.
Q: Can other brands or marks still exist at SLU?
A: Yes. The new marks don't replace the "Be a Billiken" student recruitment brand or identities for events that happen in a finite time frame — e.g., Homecoming and Family Weekend, fundraising campaigns, etc. Using the Saint Louis University mark on these communications gives the benefit of a SLU endorsement without disrupting their ability to create their own identities. The SLU logo should work together with the identity to create the most impact.
Any future marks will be expected to work within the established standards and appropriately represent the University. If you have questions regarding logo strategies, please email Matt Krob, director of University graphic design, at email@example.com to talk through objectives, expectations and process.
Q: May departments have novelty items (such as T-shirts and pens) featuring the new SLU logos created?
A: Yes. Standard guidelines regarding the design and logo usage must be followed. Please review the list of approved University vendors found on the Business and Finance website when selecting a vendor.
Q: My school or department has a website outside the University's content management system. How do I make sure the new branding is in place?
A: Marcom will work individually with schools and departments to update logos, colors, fonts and other digital elements. If you have questions about this process, please contact Web Services Director Mark Rimar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What are visual identity guidelines?
A: The guidelines explain how the logos and marks are to be used, as well as how they should not be used. They specify the correct color for "SLU Blue," as well as a secondary color palette, fonts, and other useful information to help maintain brand consistency. Downloadable logos also are available online.
Q: Why is it important to follow SLU's visual identity guidelines?
A: Guidelines, when followed consistently, allow all members of the SLU community to present a strong identity for Saint Louis University and help avoid confusion. Correct use of SLU's official logos and typography is key to the branding process and important to enhancing the University's prestige among key audiences.
Q: Where can I download the logos?
A: SLU logos and the Billiken are available in a variety of formats on the Marketing and Communications website. To avoid poor reproduction, logos should not be scanned from other printed sources or downloaded from other places on the SLU website. Standard guidelines regarding the design and logo usage must be followed.
Q: Can my individual college/school or department have its own logo?
A: The SLU logo with your school/college or department's name underneath in the correct font is your logo. To get your version of the logo, send an email to email@example.com.
Q: Is the new University logo just the shield with the fleur-de-lis?
A: No. The primary logo is the shield with the fleur-de-lis and the wordmark for "Saint Louis University" and the "Est. 1818." The shield should not appear alone without express permission from the Division of Marketing and Communications. Secondary logos are available that allow for more horizontal uses.
Q: What color are the University and Athletics logos?
A: For both the University logo and Athletics marks, the official SLU colors are Pantone Matching System (PMS) 293C and white. Pantone Matching System (PMS) Cool Gray 3, a light gray, is available as an additional color. Several secondary colors have been identified and can be used sparingly. For more information, visit the Colors, Fonts and Photography page on the Marketing and Communications website.
Q: What are the typefaces associated with the SLU logos?
A: The typeface for Saint Louis University is Brandon Grotesque, which is available for purchase by individual units. Check with your unit's marketing office for more details. A suggested complementary serif typeface is Crimson, which is a Google Font that is available for download for free. Recommendations on how to properly employ these new fonts can be found in the online style guide. The athletics font, Billiken Bold, was created specifically for SLU Athletics and is not available commercially.
Q: Is it important to include trademark or registration marks when using SLU's logos?
A: Yes. All uses of the University logo and Billiken logo should use the appropriate TM or ® marks.
Q: Can the old SLU logo and Billiken still be used going forward?
A: No. The new logos replace the old fleur-de-lis logo and Billiken head/athletics typeface. Those former graphics may no longer be used.
Q: Is the University seal still the same?
A: Yes. The Saint Louis University seal remains unchanged. Use of the seal is reserved for official documents (e.g., diplomas, transcripts, etc.) and key presidential materials. It is never a substitute for the University logo.