"Opportunity from the start": UW-Platteville introduces new branding, logo

August 13, 2018

UW-Platteville is kicking off the 2018-19 academic year with a new look and message, as it recently launched a new brand platform. 

“Those of us on campus already know what makes UW-Platteville special,” said Chancellor Dennis J. Shields. “Our commitment to our students, creating opportunities and ensuring accessibility drives our work every day. We will continue to live these values. Our refreshed brand identity system – complemented by a new marketing campaign – will better position us to tell our story in a more consistent and powerful way, setting us up for many more years of success.”

UW-Platteville undertook this initiative nearly a year ago, and partnered with Vendi Advertising, an experienced marketing agency based in La Crosse, Wisconsin. “Better defining our brand required a lot of inward and outward examination,” said Rose Smyrski, vice chancellor for University Relations. “We looked at the mission and vision that drives our institution, along with our university’s character and the values it embodies.”

Together, UW-Platteville and Vendi conducted a number of focus groups; received hundreds of survey responses from on-campus students, distance education students, and prospective students; and interviewed key external stakeholders ­– parents, employers, guidance counselors and alumni. The results of the qualitative and quantitative research informed the new brand strategy.

“Results of this research really helped reaffirm our values,” said Smyrski. “Students come here for a world-class education at an affordable cost. They value the hands-on learning they receive, the relationships they build with their professors – even as early as their freshman year, and the opportunities they are prepared for when they graduate, which is reflected in our repeated top ranking for return on investment.”

Included in the new brand identity is the tagline “Opportunity from the Start.”

“This resonated with us right away,” said Chancellor Shields. “We hear from our students time and again that they have the chance to engage in opportunities as undergraduates that aren’t as accessible to some of their friends at other schools, whether it’s working in the cadaver lab, state-of-the-art engineering labs, Pioneer Farm, or Forensic Investigation Crime Scene House. And it’s not only students who express this but also employers who appreciate this practical experience.”

In addition to reflecting the many opportunities afforded to UW-Platteville’s undergraduates, the tagline is also a nod to the university’s legacy as a leader throughout its history – from its roots as the first Normal School in Wisconsin to being a frontrunner in offering early distance and online education programs, and more.

“That history is extremely important to our institution, but we have grown and diversified so much since then,” said Chancellor Shields. “And, as a response to shifting demographics in our state and the need to recruit students from a larger geographic area, we need to be bold in telling our story and what makes us unique. We need to stand out.”

This is part of the reason why the brand initiative included the decision to introduce a new university logo. In June, UW-Platteville unveiled its new logo – a stylized “P” with traditional UW-Platteville colors. The new logo is based on the look, feel and colors of the UW-Platteville seal, while also incorporating some of the looks and lines of the stained-glass university seal window found in Ullsvik Hall. The university also launched a revamped website Aug. 10 with the new logo on prominent display.

Pioneer Pete will continue to serve as mascot and secondary graphic element for the institution, while the pick axes will continue to be used as spirit marks for the university’s athletic teams. The UW-Platteville seal will remain as the official sanction of the university, but limited to use on diplomas, transcripts and other official material designated by Chancellor Shields.

The updated brand platform coincides with the welcoming of UW-Platteville’s branch campuses in Baraboo/Sauk County and Richland Center, after the Higher Learning Commission officially approved the collaborative integration of the three campuses in July. New names for the branch campuses are pending UW System Board of Regents approval, Aug. 23-24.

“Through our collaborative integration, we will significantly expand our reach and impact in Southwest Wisconsin,” said Chancellor Shields. “What better time to elevate and promote our brand. We hope you will join us in welcoming this exciting change as we expand our legacy in Southwest Wisconsin and beyond.”

For more information about the brand identity system visit www.uwplatt.edu/communications/uw-platteville-brand.


Written by: Alison Parkins, associate director of Public Relations, Communications, 608-342-1194, parkinsal@uwplatt.edu


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