This week marks the start of something special at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. This week, we begin rolling out our new college brand to the world, ushering in a new way to communicate the role that Saint Joe’s has been fulfilling for over a century: as the place where community grows.

First, a note on branding. One helpful way to think about a brand is like a promise that, when kept, builds a positive relationship between Saint Joseph’s and each person that helps power us (whether they know us now or in the future). It’s designed to differentiate us, illuminate and inspire, and be flexible enough so that everyone who believes in our mission can see themselves in it and make it their own.

The brand language is a partner to the College’s mission and values, and describes this wonderful place of learning in aspirational terms. You can get a taste of it in the video at the top of WhereCommunityGrows.org.

The visual side of the brand includes our new logo, which you can now see on our website and many other places. Logos live in different spaces than they used to – most of them digital. Our Saint Joe’s logo needs to be as recognizable and distinctive in our tiny Instagram avatar as we are on a billboard. More importantly, our previous logo was not designed to tell our story of community and growth – we need our visual identity to feel more like us. We’ve migrated from the dark blue shield to a bright blue community of sheltering pines. It’s a simple, elegant, flexible mark that not only stands out, but carries a whole lot of meaning.

As we begin rolling the refreshed brand out into the world, you’ll first notice some digital and web-based changes. Then we’ll move into changes around campus; to the products in our school store; and across our external marketing and communications. (And for those who might be wondering, no, our Monk is not going anywhere!)

Many, many people at Saint Joe’s were instrumental in building this new brand from the inside out. They told a story about a community that holds the spirit of community at the heart of the institution. That spirit sets us apart, and helps us grow. It’s the friends and professors and staff that really see us. It’s a spirit that we carry within us. It’s a model for the world around us.

We listened and wove many stories together into a single one. The result is a promise that other colleges can’t make, and an identity that is powerful because it’s true. Everyone at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is ready to see where our new brand takes us.