Is it the year of the branding change?
It feels that way in North Carolina, where eight major cities or colleges have altered their outward appearance over the past nine months.
Logos are meant to impress, but that hasn’t always worked out as planned. Everyone seems to have an opinion, one way or another, about such branding tactics.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
The new "Wolfpack font" will be displayed on uniforms, in athletic facilities and for marketing. The school hasn’t changed its time-honored athletic trademarks – the “Strutting Wolf,” “Block S” and “Tuffy Head” logos.
The announcement drew a mix of approval and criticism, like others before it.
N.C. Central revealed a new university logo on April 19 and alumni wasted little time rejecting it on social media.
“The gentrification of my dear nccu. Where is the eagle? It lacks the swag of a HBCU. I guess that was the point,” Renee Wilson commented.
N.C. Central Chancellor Johnson Akinleye had to explain that the Eagle mascot logo would still be used for athletics and that the school’s historic seal would also remain.
"It was never our intention to portray our institution in any manner but one that affirms the distinctiveness of NCCU," Akinleye wrote in an April 26 message on the university's website. "We sincerely apologize to anyone who felt hurt or offended."
On Jan. 24, all North Carolina public universities joined the game as the UNC system dropped a new logo touting the state and its 17 system campuses.
The social response included questions on who came up with the N.C.-shaped logo and how much it cost.
Then there were the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte. All three released new logos in November, and it became a spectacle over whose was better and who got the better deal.
Raleigh took a lot of heat, in particular, because its logo cost $226,000. Shortly after the reveal of the green, half-digitized oak tree image, people compared the logo to an artichoke, or the Windows 95 logo.
Meanwhile, Charlotte’s blue logo, capped with a crown, cost a mere $25,000.
Durham paid $20,000 to refresh its logo – dropping some text, and altering the font and colors.
East Carolina University revealed its new logo in August as part of a rebranding process intended to promote the shortened name most people already call the Greenville school: ECU.
Winston-Salem State also unveiled a new mascot logo in August, with a new Ram head positioned over the school’s initials and name, that drew positive reactions among students and athletes.
Earlier in August, Elizabeth City State University unveiled a new logo of its own, featuring Lane Hall (the oldest building on campus) and the abbreviation ECSU above a line reading “Founded 1891.”w logo that cost six figures. What do you think?