In 2002, the University of South Dakota unveiled its new logo, a red U. � known to many as the �U-dot.�
Apart from a few changes made over the years, the logo has stayed pretty much the same, coming to be known for South Dakota residents as a shorthand identifier for the university.
Now, USD is in the process of �rebranding� to create a new logo that can be identified by people nationwide.
�There are a lot of U�s out there,� said Bob Fitzpatrick, director of marketing at USD. �U. works great. Locally and on campus, I think we would still refer to the university as the U. sometimes. But there are many universities that, when you�re there, they are the U. Once you get outside the state, U. doesn�t really have a whole lot of meaning. It�s kind of generic.
�When you see U., you don�t see the University of South Dakota, and that�s what we want to change,� he said.
Fitzpatrick said a number of elements played a role in the university�s decision, which was made over the course of this past academic year.
�With the growth of online and distance education, we�re delivering more degrees to more places and people than ever before,� he said. �Also, with the move to Division I, we�re sort of moving to a larger stage in terms of regionally and nationally. And being the flagship institution in South Dakota, we want to look and act more like a national brand.�
USD currently is working with Lawrence & Schiller of Sioux Falls on the project, for which a number of objectives have been outlined.
�We want something that � will provide a stronger identity for the University of South Dakota as South Dakota � something that�ll stand the test of time,� Fitzpatrick said. �We don�t want to be having this conversation (again) two years or five years from now. The idea is something we hope will be in place for decades and represent the university institutionally.�
A logo is just one part of the overall process, Fitzpatrick said.
�A logo is a mark and a symbol and can have a beauty and identity all its own, but it�s a part of a larger branding about what you say about yourself, who you are, who you�re trying to be. So, this is not just a new logo. I would call it a branding initiative in terms of building and communicating our identity,� he said.
Fitzpatrick added that the process is being made as transparent as possible in regard to the university community.
�The idea is not to spring a big surprise on people at some point, and they wonder when did that happen and where did that come from. � We are communicating with stakeholders in the university community to let them know, �Here�s what we�re thinking, here�s what�s going on, here�s where we are to this point.� So it�s not a big surprise later on,� Fitzpatrick said.
No precise timeline has been announced in regard to completion.
�When there is a timeline to share, we�re going to share it right away with everybody we can,� Fitzpatrick said.