LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT US:
The U of Me (as in, The University of Me) is new site for families going through crazy world of college admissions in the US. It's an industry that plays on intensity and anxiety, and we want to be a source of cool, calm, and confidence.
From our About page: "We want to bring [it] back to basics: figuring out what will make a school a great environment for you, and deciding who offers it. Its not about rankings and ratios; its about teenagers and parents dreaming, scouting, communicating, and working together. Thats a very unique and personal thing, and we think its worth doing right." -- http://www.theuofme.com/about/
HERE IS WHAT WE NEED:
We need the basics for our new site and overall online presence: (1) a horizontally oriented logo + logotype "The U of Me" for our main banner, (2) a smaller 200 x 200 version of the same logo (no type) for our online profiles and icons, and (3) long logotype name "The University of Me" for special print/ad purposes.
OUR TARGET AUDIENCE IS:
Three separate groups: (1) current high school kids, (2) their parents (age ~40-55), and (3) professional counselors (~same as the parents). They take their future seriously and care about finding the "right school" for them, whether they're athletes, artists, geeks, writers, budding lawyers, or whatever.
They are up to their eyeballs in college hype and respond to visual cues of "higher education".
They are also completely emotionally amped up. High school graduation and college admissions are about: pride over your achievements, thrills & excitement about growing up and being on a campus, boldness as you strike out on your own path... all mixed with mortal fear that you (the kid) won't get into any of your schools and will be a failure for life, or that you (the parent) will find yourself $100k in debt and your kid won't have gotten anything out of it. It's our mission to convince our users that they are awesome and unique and they *will* find the school where they will succeed -- their very own U of Me.
WE LIKE THESE DESIGNS:
Overall, we want this to look "collegiate" but with a modern/webby twist. It should "fit in" in places where you find college logos -- on a patch or button on a student's backpack, a window sticker on mom's car, etc. -- but it needs to catch people's attention. I want kids and parents to ask "What school is that?" when they see the logo in class or on the street.
Here are a bunch of great examples of how real schools take a logo + logotype and make it into a series of stickers, magnets, etc. This is what I'm after in the long run. Some use a modern logo, others use a classic university shield or seal. I'm willing to try either modern or classic. (ignore anything that looks like it's done just for the schools' sports teams.)
Any common "college" elements are fair game: campus, dorm, quad, green, library, columned building, academics, cap & gown, diploma, etc. Or get more abstract: hopes & dreams, achievement, growth (don't limit yourself to these).
It would be nice to emphasize the personal "Me" part. Try a graphic element (partial silhouette or figure of a teenage girl/boy?) or maybe a hand-written font for the "Me". This would definitely make it stand out from real college logos.
If you want to try a classic look, some of my favorites are: Temple, Rutgers, Rice, North Carolina-Greensboro, Dartmouth. (google each name + "university seal"). I love the geometry and lines. If you try this, make sure it's not too stuffy or static.
Use fresh web colors (I don't have any specifically in mind) rather than conservative or dark. Some texture, glossiness, comic-bookness, etc. could be cool.
Lots of schools use "varsity" type fonts. I prefer a neo-classical roman style, all-caps or small-caps or regular, but I'd consider anything else that looks good.
WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE (or we don't want to see) THIS IN OUR DESIGN:
IMPORTANT: colleges and universities take their trademarks VERY SERIOUSLY, and the U of Me logo cannot be a rip-off of any real logo. It's important to *suggest* "higher education" WITHOUT copying any existing design. (This applies to ALL CrowdSpring creative work.)
Go ahead and use real university logos or seals as inspiration; if you borrow an element from one, please advise me in the discussion area so I can check it out.
Absolutely no "party" stuff (girls, drinking, etc.). That's not the side of "college" we're after.
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