New branding approved for West Shore Community College | News

A new brand identity for West Shore Community College was adopted by its Board of Trustees at its meeting Monday.

The refreshed identity brings a new logo, updated stylings for campus signage, and marketing materials “focused on innovation, access, opportunity and value that will be critical for capturing attention in our regional market,” said WSCC Executive Director of College Relations Crystal Young.

The new graphical logo features the letters W and S forming a symbolic scene of trees and water in green, blue and gold.

“Green for our pastoral wooded campus plus the growth fostered by our academic efforts. Blue for the depth of our Lake Michigan plus the fluid and innovative nature of our culture. Gold for the level of excellence plus the spark of inspiration that leads to brighter futures,” according to contracted designer Chris VanWyck.

When the college’s full name appears with the logo, there will now be a plus sign between “community” and “college.” It’s not a change of the college’s name, but rather the way it’s visualized in the logo.

The intent “is both to stop the eye in an otherwise familiar presentation of the name and explore the intention of the community college model,” according to Brandon Jensen, another designer contracted for the project.

That approach will be echoed in marketing, such as a video recently released on WSCC’s YouTube channel, that describes the college as “creativity + research,” “opportunity + technology,” “advancement + workforce” and “expression + performance.”

“This concept of connectivity allows a familiar thread of belonging to proliferate from the core of the community + college to touch all departments and programs throughout the WSCC campus,” Jensen said.

Young said the next steps in the rebrand include “the development of basic assets” like business cards and letterheads. Then, signage at WSCC locations will be updated with new designs.

Expenses so far to develop the rebrand have totaled less than $40,000, Young said. Interior and exterior signage expenses are projected to be between $379,000 to $505,000 beyond the standard marketing budget.

WSCC President Scott Ward described those estimates as “very, very top-end,” expecting true costs to be lower.

Efforts to revamp the college’s brand began last year. Young said the decades-old logo had dull colors and an antiquated font that didn’t translate well across multiple mediums. At a meeting last summer, college officials struggled to explain what that more abstract logo represented.

Young, who has marketing experience, also highlighted inconsistent branding across campus programs like Humankind and the Performing Arts Series. A more cohesive brand is needed in the digital age, she said.

She also noted at a board meeting last summer that now is an opportune time for a revamp, with deteriorating and inaccurate campus signage needing to be replaced and projects like campus housing and sports teams on the horizon.

Other business

At its meeting Monday, the board also:

  • Contracted with Heirloom Carpentry & Construction for the Schoenherr Campus Center renovation for $196,000;
  • Set a public hearing on the property tax levy and fiscal year 2022-23 budget for 3:45 pm Monday, June 20;
  • Set a schedule for the audit of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022; and
  • Set a public hearing to levy .0981 mills, canceling out a Truth in Taxation reduction, for 4:45 pm Monday, June 6.

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