What are the new Lynn brand guidelines and how do they impact me?
Brand is a collection of experiences that identify the character of an organization. Lynn University’s brand represents the experience that Lynn promises to its students, parents, employees and supporters.
The brand guidelines provide a systematic approach to telling Lynn’s story. The language and images that we use to talk about Lynn must be simple and consistent in order to help build brand awareness and name recognition.
Why won’t you design my marketing piece the way I want it?
We need to be collectively simple and consistent. Direction comes from the top–the president and cabinet–to standardize a set of guidelines to represent the university in a professional, consistent way. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with the Marketing and Communication team, but the Marketing department is ultimately responsible for the messaging and design.
How much flexibility is there with these guidelines?
In order to achieve consistency, it is important to follow the guidelines as closely as possible. Good branding needs to be faithful to systems and practices. There is room for creativity and the opportunity to tell a dynamic and exciting story through photography. As long as we stay consistent with our five key messages and brand attributes, photography can provide creative freedom and input within those guidelines. We will partner with you for creative content, but in the end, the responsibility lies with the Marketing department.
Are the new guidelines starting right away?
With the approval of the president, cabinet and board, the process of rolling out the brand guidelines across departments began in April 2014. Following a “road show” to several departments throughout April and early May, we have now started executing the guidelines as new projects come in. The new brand was officially launched to the entire campus at the Welcome Back Breakfast on August 19, 2014. We will not be re-creating all existing marketing materials, but we will produce new collateral according to the new brand guidelines as the natural replacement cycle requires it.
Why is it such a corporate-type look? It seems so cold.
Don’t confuse corporate with professional. The cornerstone of our brand features photography of our people front and center and there is nothing cold or corporate about Lynn’s people. The simplified color palette and clean, white background ensure Lynn’s name is easily recognizable and stands out. It is a professional, scientific and systematic approach to executing the brand. By following these standards, we also set an example for our students who aspire to be future marketing and communication professionals when they leave campus.
Do these guidelines apply to my department?
Yes. The only exceptions are athletics (which will have its own guidelines) and student-produced pieces (which are part of the creative academic process). But for everything else, Marketing is accountable for the brand and is responsible to make sure the guidelines are adhered to by all departments for any materials. We don’t encourage departments/colleges to spend their time designing. That’s our job.
Simple templates for regular business communications such as PowerPoint and letterhead for employee use are provided in the applications section of this web site.
We’re very different, so can you make an exception for our program?
Photography provides enough flexibility for every department to get their messages across, so there is no reason to make exceptions. The guidelines can be adapted to every department. If everyone does “their own thing,” we don’t put forth a consistent message. The collective body of work must convey one consistent, simple message.
Can the Marketing and Communication department do my poster/flyer/letter?
All external communications should be developed in partnership with Marketing, which will provide the design and editorial for all external communication. We will be providing templates to help enable employees to execute basic business communications, for which we are all responsible (for example, letters, proposals, PowerPoint presentations, etc.).
How and why has the Marketing department changed?
We have developed a systematic and scientific approach to marketing designed to help us execute the university’s strategic plan. This is the right time in our university history with the pieces now in place to develop a highly strategic communication plan and put more resources into it. We must champion a new way using best practices to create a more consistent work product.
When do you use the seal vs. the logotype?
The seal is used for official university business and more formal documents as well as for the colleges. The logotype is for marketing and public relations, and all other non-athletic applications. We no longer use the seal and logotype together. Before ordering any new inventory of materials with the university seal or logotype, please contact the Marketing department to verify correct logo usage.
Why is the Lynn logo above my name in the email signatures?
We’re all part of “Team Lynn,” and it’s important to lead with the team name for Lynn name recognition.
Why doesn’t my department have its own logo anymore?
We are all part of the Lynn team. The only entities with their own logos are the colleges and products or services offered to students and supporters in the community; i.e., Dialogues of Learning is, in essence, a product for our students, and Live at Lynn and Pine Tree Camps are products offered to the community.
Can the gray color of the body text (Lynn Gray) be darker? It’s too light.
Visual tests were conducted to be sure this is readable. Black is too dominant a color and overwhelms our Lynn blue.
Why do you use the same few colors in everything?
A color palette was chosen for consistency and simplicity, and each color conveys a message to reflect the reality of the campus. Primary colors: blue represents sincerity, confidence and integrity; gray represents maturity, intelligence and stability; white represents goodness, simplicity and new beginnings. Secondary colors: Green represents nature and growth; Orange represents creativity and ideas.
Why is there so much white space?
White is a blank background canvas that helps accentuate Lynn’s name and showcase our people.
How does this affect our social media pages?
We will be revamping the visual imprint of our social media pages in line with the brand guidelines.
Why did Marketing change my text?
It is our responsibility to make your text reflect the branding guidelines in tone and style without changing the information or meaning.
If those are headlines, why aren’t all the words capitalized?
Our writing style guide standardizes all headers with sentence case which means only the first word is capitalized and the rest are lowercase (just like in a sentence), except for any proper names in the header which would remain capitalized.
Why don’t you put Dr. before my name?
We follow AP style: Dr. is only in front of a name if that person is a medical doctor. This is also for consistency and a less formal tone.
Why isn’t university/college/institute capitalized?
We follow AP style: These words are lowercase when used alone with a proper name. Lynn University is uppercase; on second reference we say “university” in lower case since it is not a proper name.
Why isn’t my title capitalized?
We follow AP style: Titles are capitalized only when they precede a name; otherwise they are lowercase. President Kevin M. Ross spoke; Kevin M. Ross, president, spoke.
Why are we using such a conversational tone? It doesn’t sound professional.
This is a tone of clarity, and nothing is more important in communications than clarity of thought. We are using the active tense and using language that promotes our brand attributes:
- Agile: we are swift; our language is clear, simple and to the point, cutting out words that don’t add meaning.
- Forward-looking: we are at the forefront of change; our style is short sentences and active verbs.
- Student-centric: people come first ahead of systems, technology and bureaucracy; language is transparent without jargon, acronyms and initials.
- Well-placed: we are in a fiercely competitive and high-profile market, so we must be first-rate all the time; our grammar, punctuation and presentation must be impeccable.
- Dedicated: our involvement with Lynn University is intense and personal; we write with enthusiasm.
When I get a proof back from your department, can I change it or re-write it?
Your proof is a result of what was previously discussed and agreed upon when the job was accepted by Marketing. When we ask you to review materials, it is for a factual check only ensuring that names, dates and information are correct.