New logo, refreshed branding

Winston-Salem State University has launched a new era today with the unveiling of a new university logo. The new logo is rich with symbolism and reflects the university’s exciting vision for its future while paying homage to its legacy and history.

The shield in the logo represents the strength of the Winston-Salem State University community and reflects the faculty and staff's commitment to advocating for students and providing them a safe and supportive environment in which to pursue their education.

The arch symbolizes the history and traditions of the university as well as its commitment to its motto "Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve." The archways on campus were constructed in the 1930s and once served as the entrance to the university. In a tradition begun in 2009, students who arrive on campus as freshmen are led through the archway during a ceremony that signifies their transition from "lambs" to "Rams" as they "Enter to Learn."

The City of Winston-Salem skyline seen through the archway symbolizes the university's commitment to community engagement and its desire to be responsible neighbors and strategic partners with the city, the region, and beyond. It also reflects the "Depart to Serve" aspect of the university's motto.

The two typefaces used in the logo were selected for their ability to convey two important things: that WSSU is a bold, vibrant, and exciting university and that it is grounded in a rich tradition of providing a high-quality liberal education for more than 124 years.

"This is an exciting time at Winston-Salem State University," said WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. "We are a bold and energetic university and our new logo conveys that very well." The previous "red block" logo had been in use since the early 1990s, with an update in 2005.

While a large volume of the work on the university's brand refresh project has been completed over the past year, the process actually began in 2012. At that time, surveys of students, alumni, faculty, and staff were conducted, providing a starting point for continued research. Over the past 10 months, the university reviewed data from many additional surveys of not only the university community and alumni, but also incoming freshmen. In addition to informal discussions with faculty, staff, and students, the university held formal focus groups soliciting feedback and gathering information. All of that information was analyzed and synthesized to create the final product.

"What we learned was that Winston-Salem State University unlocks the potential in its graduates," said Jaime Hunt, WSSU's chief communications officer. "What also came as no surprise is that our students value the Ram experience, which comes directly from our status as a historically Black university. Meanwhile, we were delighted to learn how many students and alumni embrace our motto, 'Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve.' Honoring that in our logo was critically important."

The new logo is just one component of the university's brand refresh. A new look for the university's marketing communications materials has been developed and reflects the vibrancy of the campus. Brand messaging guidelines that highlight what makes the university distinct have also been developed and made available to communicators across campus.

"It has never been more critical to have a strong brand," said Chancellor Robinson. "A strong brand helps raise the profile of the university, raises awareness for the university, and improves the value of a degree from WSSU. It positions us to be considered among the best in the state - which is exactly what WSSU is. I believe our new logo, new look, and new brand messaging will help others see how fantastic this university is."

For more information about the university's brand refresh view the rollout video and visit our branding page.

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