How many times have you found yourself bursting with pride every time you see your school’s emblem? Be it on TV, on a shirt, or on the gleaming monogram split letters emblazoned on the campus’s gates? Though you don’t likely remember all the exact details of your school’s emblem, you will recognize it everywhere.
And like looking at a brand’s logo, seeing your school’s emblem can fill you with certain memories. If you’ve graduated already, you’ll look back to the days you spent on campus. On the other hand, if you’re still attending the school, the emblem may rouse your competitive spirit. After all, the fun in schools and universities is in the rivalries.
Your school’s emblem has more impact on you than you realize. It particularly affects your learning, values, loyalty, and more. The teachers and staff of a school connect with the emblem as well, and they in fact contribute to its design.
That said, let’s delve deep into the importance and impact of a school’s emblem.
Emblems Define a School’s Brand
Branding may be far from your thoughts when you see your school’s emblem, but education is also business. In the first place, branding and identity manuals help schools design their emblems. Districts use branding to build identities for existing and new school campuses. In addition, branding assists in creating new opportunities for academic improvement, and in developing a sense of pride for students, teachers, parents, and the community.
A brand and identity define a school and help it communicate that definition to students, staff, and the community. As such, an emblem should represent who the school is, what it stands for, and its mission.
Moreover, branding upholds a school’s academic programs to an intellectual, social, and cultural extent. As a result, it positively impacts the students’ loyalty, morale, and academic performance.
Emblems Define a School’s Mission
To reiterate our point earlier, an emblem represents a school’s mission. It encompasses the culture of the school’s community, as well as the professional culture of education in a business sense. Furthermore, the emblem must be designed with the school’s strengths and goals in mind. To do such, design professionals may consult with staff and parents, tour the school, and participate in its activities. In turn, they should communicate the information they collected through a design theme, and ultimately, through an emblem,
Emblems Help Market a School
A school’s emblem must also appeal to a specific audience. Thus, its design should set them apart from its competitors. As with a brand’s logo, school emblems shouldn’t look generic, or carry a misguided message. That’s why marketing professionals are crucial in designing one.
To create a memorable, impactful emblem, the designers and school staff may list down the top attributes of the school, and define how each one speaks to the audience’s needs and goals. These will become the key messages of the school’s marketing campaigns. When the audience begins to understand what exactly a school stands for and realize that their own goals and values are aligned with it, then a school has successfully built trust and connection.
However, there’s a downside to designing an emblem for the sake of marketing. It pushes schools to change their emblems to attract more enrollees. Needless to say, such an act angers students and alumni, because a new emblem means a new identity for the school. With the original emblem gone, the connection of the students and alumni with their school may weaken.
Like customers, students regard their school’s emblem as a symbol of professionalism and trustworthiness. They also see it as authentication of their education, and a sign of the school’s legitimacy. But a student’s sentiment toward their school is definitely stronger than their connections with brands. After all, the campus is a student’s second home. Changing its logo isn’t as simple as changing paint colors. To them, it may feel as shocking as changing their last name without their consent.
Unfortunately, the digital age has compelled many schools to be updated with the trends and to stand out. For-profit colleges, in particular, attracted controversy because people doubted if they provided students with the same quality of education as traditional schools. It raised the question of whether students have become desperate to maintain the prestige of a quality institution in the age of diploma mills.
The pandemic, which prompted the shift to distance learning, also affected a student’s sense of their pride toward their school. Indeed, you tend to feel more connected to your school when you’re on campus.
But as of now, we can only wait for things to return to the old normal. What’s more important is upholding your school’s missions and goals, and supporting them in these trying times. Even if your school changes its emblem to stay in business, remember that it won’t change the memories and accomplishments you’ve had on campus.