1. So, FIT is adopting a new brand. What does that mean?
A brand is an expression of what an organization stands for and a promise of what it delivers every day. It’s a reflection of what is authentic and what is aspirational as well as what is tangible (for instance, what an organization produces) and intangible (how does it make me feel?). FIT’s new brand is “unconventional minds.” This means the three “brand goals”—that FIT is innovative, vital to the creative economy, and offers a depth and breadth of programs in addition to fashion—will be presented through an “unconventional” lens.
We make the case that FIT is:
- a community of unconventional minds, a place where we educate students to be design thinkers and problem solvers;
- a center of innovation, where remarkable talent is nurtured and uncommon thinking is encouraged;
- in New York City—the global center of the new creative economy, at the crossroads of design, culture, business, and technology; and
- a key contributor to the creative industries, reflecting the depth and breadth of the 50 programs we offer, beyond fashion.
2. How did we arrive at “unconventional minds” as the FIT brand, and is it right for us?
At the recommendation of the college-wide brand consortium, FIT conducted significant research in order to develop the new brand. The results indicate that all of our audiences respond positively, even enthusiastically, to the notion of “unconventional minds.” Students in particular relate to it and recognize themselves in that concept. Additionally, our brand of “nurturing unconventional minds” is unique in the marketplace and accurately reflects where FIT is today and where we need to be in the future if we are to realize the goals of the Beyond 2020 Strategic Plan.
3. How long will it take to establish the new brand?
In the coming months, we will be rolling out communications, meeting with community members, and posting on social media so everyone can learn more about the brand. New visual materials will be introduced throughout the coming year. This must be carefully planned and phased in gradually to ensure fiscal responsibility.
4. I’ve noticed in some of the initial materials that the FIT logo is used in different ways. Can I change it up?
Yes! Because the brand is “unconventional,” we are introducing some unconventional applications using the FIT logo. In summer 2018, Communications and External Relations will publish guidelines for its use. We will include opportunities for collaboration and interpretation through “creative crowdsourcing,” which will enable us to partner with talented community members on original and innovative ways to use and depict the FIT brand in both static and dynamic executions.
5. Why have the words “State University of New York” replaced “Fashion Institute of Technology” in conjunction with the college’s logo?
Market research has shown that “FIT” is recognized by the majority of people in all of our audiences without the words “Fashion Institute of Technology.” The circle logo on its own honors our fashion legacy, as the acronym stands for Fashion Institute of Technology. The FIT logo can also be combined with other wordmarks other than SUNY, allowing the college flexibility in depicting the college’s depth and breadth of offerings. Moreover, one of the critical brand messages is to communicate FIT’s distinctiveness as a public institution among its peer colleges. As a SUNY campus, FIT can offer its stakeholders—most importantly the students—myriad benefits, including affordability. The market research also made clear that the affiliation with SUNY is positive for both the college and the university, so it makes sense to use the FIT logo with “State University of New York” whenever possible.
6. What is the college’s official color?
FIT blue remains the official color.
7. When will I start seeing changes in print and online communications?
The newly branded work will be introduced in phases over the course of 2018 and through 2019, coordinated with the college’s priorities and activities. For example, the suite of recruitment communications for the Office of Admissions will be the highest priority.
8. If I’m creating a flyer or poster do I need to use an updated logo? What colors can I use?
Communications and External Relations (CER) is evaluating logo use for institutional initiatives, departments, and campus locations, and will publish a full system in fall 2018. The FIT logo will not change. A full color palette is being developed to facilitate creativity in using the FIT logo and other brand marks.
9. Will new fonts be available?
Yes. The new fonts will be available for use by the FIT community by the fall semester. In the interim, if you have a custom need, please contact CER.
10. Where can I get logos, fonts, and templates for use in my work?
In the coming months, CER will make these assets available online, along with guidelines for their use.
11. When can I get new business cards?
Materials such as business cards and letterhead will be available beginning in the fall 2018 semester.
12. Comments? Questions?
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