Dartmouth College is updating its image with a new logo, typeface and standardized color palette.
The new logo features a simplified image of the college’s iconic lone pine, a tree under which students are said to have gathered in the 1800s. The college’s new wordmark, the visual presentation of its name, also hearkens back to its history. The wordmark’s font is based off a typeface created by designer Rudolf Ruzicka for Dartmouth's 200th anniversary in 1969.
The images are designed to replicate better across digital platforms than the college’s existing iconography, reflecting the growing importance of social media as a communications and branding platform.
From a design perspective that means a greater emphasis on simplicity – images must be clear even as tiny icons on smartphone screen. But color is also important, said Justin Anderson, vice president for communications at Dartmouth.
Colors can present differently depending on where they’re printed, be it on paper, banners, uniforms or online. Dartmouth’s customary green had been appearing in different shades all around campus, Anderson said, and the college is moving to standardize that color. New, secondary colors intended to reference Dartmouth’s landscape and sense of place are also being added to the palette. Those include “bonfire red,” “river blue,” and “summer yellow,” he said.
The new designs are getting mixed reactions online and on campus. Anderson said, knowing how passionate the Dartmouth community can be, he expected a strong response. “You have to be very, very careful and very, very thoughtful about the decision you make, knowing how seriously people understandably take logos,” he said.
Dartmouth is ramping up for its 250th anniversary celebration next year.