Texas Wesleyan University, a private university whose main campus is just east of downtown Fort Worth, was once one of the city's hidden gems. The University needed to get the word out and drum up interest in its many programs, so Wesleyan approached J.O. to conduct a complete rebrand of the institution. No small task — but it became a passion project for J.O.'s president, who was not only a former Wesleyan alumna, but also a former employee.
J.O.'s main focus in revamping the Wesleyan identity was to elevate the brand icon to represent Wesleyan as a top-tier university. We achieved this by adding dimension and movement to the design of the shield: the dynamic wave behind the "W" flame and slight beveled edge in the colors. We paired a classic, approachable font for "Texas Wesleyan" with a gold, sans serif font for "University," in all caps, to create a clear distinction.
J.O. started with the core of any brand's identity, redesigning the university's logos, admission materials, websites and athletic logos and developing the tagline "Smaller. Smarter." The new tagline conveyed the sentiment that smaller class sizes equal a smart decision. "Smarter" works on two levels. First, it reinforces the smart decision to attend Texas Wesleyan; and second, it implies students will have a better opportunity to learn when they're not "just a number" in a 500-person lecture hall.
To say the campaign and branding resonated would be an understatement. After the first year of the campaign, the university saw a 119 percent increase in applications.
Next, we tackled the athletic department's logos. Wesleyan's athletic uniforms displayed about six different logos and even more variance in colors. To create cohesiveness, we redesigned the icon depicting "Willie the Ram," Wesleyan's mascot, and crafted a wordmark option. We then created a crucial brand guideline to ensure uniformity (pun intended). Now, every athletic department and club proudly sports the same, unified logo — and the Rams are ready to charge!