As CU Denver continues to celebrate its history of serving students for 50 years, a milestone project is also underway to lead the university into the future.
Last year, CU Denver set out to refresh its brand by infusing research, community input, and best practices at every step of the journey. Throughout the process, the team collected input from thousands of community members inside and outside of CU Denver to understand our current perception and inform the brand strategy.
This year, the University Communications (UComm) team used its in-house talent to develop creative concepts that will lay the foundation for the updated brand. “From the moment I joined our university two years ago, I have heard from our community that they want CU Denver to find its voice and tell its story,” said Vice Chancellor of UComm Marie Williams. “The brand refresh is an ideal way to do that, building on the past while bringing in new perspectives and inspiration.”
The creative team strove to define and express CU Denver’s unique personality and offerings in the heart of an urban center and use the core values that differentiate the university. “The creative expression of the brand is born out of our location here in Denver and our community,” said UComm Senior Creative Director Ian Scott. “It is born out of deep connections to this place, its origins, its history, and from the vision of a world where education can and should work for all.”
A major thread throughout the brand development process was to ensure the evolution of the new brand was infused by DEI work underway at CU Denver by the community and led by Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Antonio Farias. “Our brand identity should reflect our commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive community,” said Karina Rosado, UComm’s Director of Multicultural Marketing and DEI Communications. “By embedding initiatives that promote these values into our brand creative and messaging, we can effectively communicate our proactive approach towards fostering a welcoming environment for all members of our community.”
The UComm team presented potential brand concepts across key stakeholder groups that included university leadership, deans, shared governance leaders, the Inclusive Excellence Council, Brand Advisory Council, enrollment and student success professionals, communicators, and many others. And community input will continue in the fall. “This brand plays a huge role in introducing students to CU Denver,” said Ashley Weatherspoon, Director of Undergraduate Recruitment. “This will be a milestone for our university and position us to attract students within the state of Colorado and beyond.”
In terms of next steps, during the summer, the UComm team will begin to incorporate stakeholder feedback to date. In the early fall, the team will host a week of final community input sessions. Following those sessions, we will finalize the creative and begin a full internal rollout in fall 2023, followed by an external launch by early 2024.
As we look forward, there are many things that will be refreshed with the new brand including:
- Updated messaging designed to capture CU Denver’s differentiators and advantages relative to peers and competitors
- Development of creative concepts, collateral, and templates to serve as the foundation for future communications and marketing campaigns
- Creation of brand guidelines to ensure consistent application of CU Denver’s messaging and visual look and feel across the University
We welcome your thoughts about the CU Denver brand. If you’d like to be included in future opportunities, provide feedback by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And stay tuned—there will be more to come.
For more information on the brand refresh, please visit the CU Denver Brand Refresh webpage.