For the past several months, Harford Community College has been undergoing a rebranding process to create a new visual identity.
This effort has included development of a new logo, wordmark and advertising campaign rollout that is “vibrant and reflects the future of the college,” according to an HCC news release.
“As Harford Community College positions itself for its next 60 years, the new brand is expected to increase recognition and help the college to even more closely establish itself with the community it serves as a place where curiosity meets possibility, new experiences become practical skills and the future comes into focus,” the news release states.
As part of that process, a new logo was designed and revealed for the first time at Illuminate, a cocktail reception and fundraising event celebrating the college’s 60th anniversary held Saturday evening.
The event, held at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena, was attended by approximately 500 people and was “the culminating event” of HCC’s 60th-anniversary celebration, HCC spokesperson Nancy Dysard wrote in an email Monday afternoon.
The college kicked off the celebration of the anniversary of its opening in 1957 last September.
Saturday’s fundraiser generated $181,000 in gross income, with a net of $71,000 for the HCC Foundation after meeting $110,000 in expenses, according to Denise Dregier, director for college and alumni development.
The net proceeds will be used for foundation scholarships and “to support the College in providing the best classes, programs, faculty and facilities possible,” Dregier stated in an email.
The college began using the new logo Monday on parking lot banners, the marquee, indoor digital signs, the website and other campus locations, according to the news release. Additional marketing materials will be revised in the near future.
The design of the logo, made up of loosely-connected rectangles that form a square, or an arrow depending on how it’s looked at, came about through information gathered from testing groups during the rebranding process, according to Dysard.
“Certain words or concepts were repeatedly mentioned in the test groups leading up to the selection of the logo: curiosity, progress, upward, diversity, unity and pathways,” she wrote.
She said people saw, as various logo designs were tested, books, steppingstones, the steps in a journey, an “upward trajectory,” different pathways and “a colorful variety of diverse choices, ideas, people and possibilities.”
“So it’s meant to invite curiosity in the viewer and bring to mind upward momentum, choices, pathways, diversity and progress,” Dysard wrote. “We understand that transitioning to a new logo, design system and brand positioning takes time. Some may never “love” it, but over time it will become synonymous with the College with consistent usage and repetition.”
After obtaining bids from several advertising agencies, Mission, a Baltimore-based design and digital agency, was selected to work on the rebrand with the HCC team, according to the release.
The initial contract cost $66,000, with additional expenses of $17,250 to create a video on the new logo and brand and the “creation of additional asset pieces,” according to Dysard’s email.
In addition to the new logo, the rebranding campaign includes developing a “full identity system” with items such as a tagline, color, style guide, photos and graphic elements, for advertising, websites and marketing materials, testing to gauge “audience reaction, validate selection and finalize the selected identity,” she wrote.
Rebranding will also make sure the identity system “incorporates all divisions of the College, providing flexibility for each unit to respond to its specific audiences while still reinforcing the overarching brand of the College as a whole,” according to Dysard.