University unveils ‘sophisticated’, yet ‘swag’ new look

James Vaughn

“Sophisticated” describes USI’s new logo.USIAcad-WdmkStack-RedWh Newsprint

The university unveiled its new look Wednesday morning after a long selection process. Faculty, staff, students and athletes took to a catwalk in Carter Hall to model the look, which has 87 variations.

A crowd lined the second floor of University Center West, down the stairs and outside just before 10 a.m. Hundreds pushed their way into Carter Hall to catch a first glimpse of the look. The first 500 received “swag bags,” which came equipped with a t-shirt, a pen, a to-do list pad and a tiny basketball, which featured the new monogram, among other things. 

“When we started our strategic plan, someone told us we needed to get some swagger,” President Linda Bennett said to the crowd. “Well we’ve gotten some swagger.” 

DSC_0618Freshman nursing major Jenna Spiller liked the new logo. 

“I think it puts us on the same level as some of the bigger universities,” she said. “I like the torch a lot. I think that it’s going to definitely stand us out from the crowd. I think that now that we’ve got our very own logo, it’ll stick.”

With the new look comes a new slogan. “Knowledge for Life” will replace “Get the Edge”, which is just a year old.

“It means a lot,” said Kindra Strupp, assistant vice president for marketing and communications. “It’s the DNA of what USI is – we give knowledge and we get knowledge.”

“Get the Edge” was designed with the old look in mind, she said.

The new logo borrows from the university’s history, but adds a contemporary, forward-looking flair.

“It was important in 1985 that we talk about where we are in Indiana,” Strupp said, referring to the old logo, which highlighted Evansville’s proximity to the rest of the state. “But we’ve expanded beyond that now – we have students living all over the world.”

The new monogram features a “U”, an “S” and an “I” – the “I” doubles as a torch and the flame doubles as an eagle’s wing.

“We hope people will want to put it on their cars,” Strupp said. “There will still be some variation in the short term, but hopefully, in the long run, it will become more uniform.”

Rickabaugh Graphics, based in Gahanna, Ohio, designed for The Ohio State University, Marquette University, Western Kentucky University, the NFL, the NBA, Mike Tyson, Toyota and now USI.

“Our brand fuels the future,” Strupp said. “Just like a farmer brands his cattle so that he knows which cows are his, the experience that you have at USI is our brand on you.”

USI and Rickabaugh looked at more than just the logo – a new athletic mark and a sanctioned eagle were also created.

The university developed focus groups that included alumni, coaches, students and faculty.

All of the data gathered from those groups was provided to Rickabaugh and his staff, who presented the results to a selection team and chose a brand family using the group’s input.

“The Board of Trustees was the final stamp,” Strupp said.

The trustees got a peek at a couple of the potential brands January 8, in Indianapolis, including the one that was chosen.

The university now has a brand standards manual, which requires any organization that wants to use the brand get permission from the university.

Bennett made her Twitter debut during the event, too, snapping her first selfie.


Visit for more information about the brand and follow Bennett on Twitter @usiprez.

See more at #USILook.