It’s been a full year since the rebranding of the Purdue University Marketing Association (PUMA) and I’m pleased to present the official case study for their brand identity. Last summer, I was approached by president Amanda Ewing in regards to pitching a new logo for their student organization, which I myself have been a member for the past two years.
The Design Proposal
Amanda shared her vision for PUMA as well as the past accomplishments. She felt that after over a decade of being recognized by their old logo as just another student club on campus, it was time to expand horizons and develop as a professional networking circle of opportunities. Once we ironed out all of the details from our initial conference, I immediately began my line of work.
Like with any of my previous projects, the drawing board began with brainstorming for certain keywords that were associated with Amanda’s vision. Keywords such as: professionalism, bold, sophisticated, marketing, university, student centric, contemporary and many others came into mind.
As you may or may not know, brainstorming is one of the techniques I use to generate a mass of ideas which I record in my sketchbook. During this process, I switch from critical thinking to creative thinking, thus letting all wild ideas enter the surface of my sketchbook.
Diving into my new sketchbook, I let the pencil go wild and spent the next week drawing up over 200 sketches. Over the weekend, I narrowed 200 down into just two options.
With only two options, I moved on to the next stage of the design process and created several mockups in order to bring my ideas to reality.
The First Idea: Investment
“Investment” is derived from the investing of any form of capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value. In terms of marketing, the investment is with the student.
Like an investment, the symbol is student-focused and mirrors long-term relationships with the student, as a value, without any alienation. The arrow was chosen to represent the three fundamental steps: strategy, marketing, and operations and to convey action and movement. Eight arrows have been designed for a particular purpose that is essential to the marketing discipline while the white square in the center represents the student’s target… experience, opportunity, application, etc..
The four outer arrows represent the long-term relationship with the students, regardless of the major. It encourages students to take action and participate in the marketing movement.
The four inner arrows represent the marketing mix. The product, price, place, and promotion. The promotion is highlighted in the Purdue University gold color to emphasize action and awareness in a upright, positive direction. This element supports Purdue University Calumet’s mission to increase its brand equity as a first-choice university by students within the regional demographic area.
The Second Idea: Profit
“Profit” is derived from the financial gain, the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something. In this case, the keyword gain is used as a synoym for growth, expansion and raise. This simple and bold wordmark identifies just that.
The “M” Word
The M word is marketing. All on it’s own, the anatomy of the letter has the ability to portray the marketing discipline through the right spike. As the human is taught to read from left to right, the spike is read to move up. The angle depicts the speed of the spike, therefore the eye moves up quickly. This represents keen movement and growth.
The wordmark evokes a bold, crisp, and clean look while conveying professionalism at it’s finest. Structured geometrically, the anatomy of the four letters represent the logical, analytical, and strategical thinking processes that are required to solve real-world problems using marketing tatics much like the same processes that are required to solve geometric problems.
The concept of the PUMA logo was to create a new brand awareness that conveyed professionalism to the students of Purdue University Calumet and the marketing industry around the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland area.
The official Purdue University black and gold was chosen as the predominate colors. The black symbolizes a powerful, professional attitude and leadership while the gold symbolizes value, prestige and honor.
The chosen sans-serif typeface was Futura. To mirror the contemporary and professional look and feel, the “M” letter was modified leaving the legs standing straight up to match the “PU” letters and to maintain coherency, the slash in the “M” letter is exact same stroke length as the rest of the letters.
Overall, since the logos application on PUMA’s advertising, the student organization has increased its membership substantially and has been praised by the campus School of Management and University Relations.
The Client’s Testimonial
“I have had the pleasure of working with Jamie on many projects throughout the past few years. He is an exceptional, dedicated designer with a true passion for his work. Most of my experience is with Jamie through the Purdue University Marketing Association where I serve as President. On many occasions I met Jamie, as a client would, to provide him with my needs in order for him to produce graphic design work. Not only is Jamie highly professional, but extremely thorough with a persistent attention to detail. He has always completed work ahead of schedule.
I would highly recommend Jamie. He will exceed your expectations time after time. Also, Jamie is truly a customer centric individual who will consistently go above and beyond to meet a client’s needs. His marketing knowledge paired with his design capabilities make him a perfect fit for this position and his drive to succeed, hard-working mentality would make him the perfect designer.”
- PRESIDENT AMANDA EWING
“Please note that I have had the pleasure of being acquainted with Jamie Wayne for about three years. Jamie has demonstrated outstanding creative and design skills while serving as a Purdue University Marketing Association Rebranding Manager. He proved to be a dependable team player and demonstrated a great eye for design and impressed us all with his tenacity and talent. Our Student Organization has increased its membership and has rebranded itself as a professional organization in large part thanks to Jamie’s efforts.”"You will find that Jamie is a “diamond in the rough” and has a lot of drive and passion for the field. Jamie’s past work experience speaks to how diverse and well sought after his skills really are.”"I am convinced that Jamie is a very talented and hard-working individual and will be an excellent addition to your team and will bring some real value to the organization.”
- ADVISOR KASIA FIRLEJ
The Logo in Use
After the logo was chosen by PUMA, I was given the honor of creating all of their creative collateral as well as design and develop their website.
Brand Identity Presentation
There was a great amount of prep work that was done in order to successfully pitch both of these logo ideas to the students of PUMA. I welcome you to download the full .pdf presentation for a more in-depth look at how both logos were applied.