Posted by Philip Poole on 2009-09-02

As part of a multi-phase branding initiative, Samford University has launched the first major redesign of its website in about two years.  The site officially launched Aug. 31.

Earlier in the summer, the university unveiled a series of new logos that are the foundation of a revamped graphics identity program for the university, according to Michael D. Morgan, assistant to the president.  Morgan chairs a 10-member university-wide task force that has developed a new branding strategy for Samford.

The task force spent several months studying Samford’s current marketing and communication efforts and researching similar efforts at peer institutions, Morgan said.  From that process emerged strategies for expanding Samford’s image and market reach nationally.  The strategies cover all aspects of the university, Morgan noted, including academics, arts, admission and athletics and reach every possible university constituency.

“Samford’s reputation as a national doctoral research university annually is affirmed by its ranking as a top tier institution by U.S. News & World Report,” Morgan said.  “Our plans will help us tell that message even more effectively to students, parents, alumni and other friends of the university.”

The website was developed by the university’s web services and communication teams and included focus group testing with current and prospective students. 

“A university’s website is the front door to the institution, especially with prospective students and their parents,” said Donna K. Fitch, director of web services.  “We’ve added some new features and updated some others to make it relevant to a student who is interested in the kind of university that Samford is.”

The updated logo uses the belltower image that has been part of the university’s identity for about 20 years.  The new image is an actual depiction of the university’s signature belltower atop Harwell G. Davis Library.  The logo and graphics identity program also was developed by the university’s office of communication and an employee work group, based on focus group testing with several university constituencies.

Part of the revamped graphics identity will be the use of the new belltower image in all official university logos, Morgan said.  Samford athletics will continue to use the bulldog image as part of its graphics identity.

The new graphics identity program is being implemented throughout the 2009-10 academic year, Morgan said.  Apparel and other items featuring the new logo are available through the Samford Bookstore. 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.