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A New Way to Tell Our Brand Story

For more than a century, Georgia Southwestern State University has been working to improve and enrich the lives of people in and outside of our community by providing a comprehensive university education at an unmatched value in a fiercely supportive environment.

Now it’s time to build on the power of that momentum.

To continue to attract top-notch students and teaching talent, we need to tell our brand story with the confidence it deserves. Over the past year, we’ve embarked on an exciting journey to uncover our best story – honoring our past, celebrating our present and setting the stage for the exciting stories to come.

Our Process

Capturing the power of our brand story was no small task. Our journey included wide-ranging research including scores of focus groups, phone interviews and online surveys, capturing the insights and opinions of nearly 1,300 individuals. We heard what makes us powerful, inspiring and uniquely attractive to people in our backyard and across the globe.

Through this process, we uncovered several common threads. These key story elements detail what makes GSW unique – and why that matters to the multiple audiences we serve.

So, we took those inputs and distilled our messaging into powerful creative concepts including a brand manifesto, our internal mantra and rallying cry to align all we do every day. We also developed new creative messaging and a new logo – singular distillations of all those powerful stories to make it easier to connect and communicate the power of the GSW story.

Our new logo and design elements are bold, contemporary and connective, and they’re built to work seamlessly across a variety of digital and traditional applications. These elements will all work together to simplify and amplify our brand messages, making sure everyone knows that our students will, without a doubt, Take Tomorrow by Storm.

FAQs

What does this mean for me? How will my job change?

    In terms of day-to-day responsibilities, there will be no change in how you carry out your mission as university communicator. But now we’ll have a messaging platform and brand toolkit to unify how we all speak to the exciting things happening at GSW, so we’re all promoting our story with consistency.

Do my marketing materials need to be approved?

    Whether your materials need approval depends on the content and your audience. The GSW marketing team must approve all items that use the GSW logo or name, especially if those items are being used off-campus. These may include t-shirts, flyers, signs, social media graphics and more. Materials do not need to be approved if they are for internal use without the GSW logo or name. If you'd like to have materials approved or have questions about the process, email branding@gsw.edu.

What about the old logo?

    Our former primary logo featuring the dome will be phased out as we embrace out new logo and brand. The former casual logo will no longer be used. The formal university seal and GSW athletic logos have not been changed in our rebranding process and will continue to be used as before.

What about signage?

    Brand rollouts take shape over several phases to maximize impact in the marketplace while also being strategic and thoughtful when it comes to budgets and timing. Since environmental signage is one of the more significant expenses, we’re working with a staging plan that makes sense for timing, impact and budget considerations.

What about printed things like business cards, letterhead, brochures, etc.?

    We take environmental responsibility seriously, which means we'll plan to phase out legacy brand printed communications as they run out. We encourage all departments to use up what inventory you have and reorder elements with new branding as needed. We will continue to update our online brand style guide, but please let the GSW marketing team know if you have any questions around how to use the new brand elements.

When and how can I change my email signature?

    Consistency is key with branding – and emails are among the most frequent brand delivery devices. In the next few weeks, we’ll be sending out instructions on how and when to update your email signature to embrace the new brand elements.

What can I do to help?

    A lot. You are on the front lines as key GSW brand ambassadors, and we encourage you to be flag bearers for the new brand elements. We need each and every one of you to continue to do great work, support the mission and keep our new brand elements close at hand. We need your teams to engage in conversations in person and across social media to start telling the world how GSW is Taking Tomorrow by Storm. Additionally, we are looking for enthusiastic brand ambassadors to help with a variety of needs related to the rebrand effort. Email branding@gsw.edu for more information.

What's next?

    This first phase of brand launch will continue to elevate the new brand around campus and in our local community. In the coming year, we’ll launch more robust and wide-ranging media outreach to deliver our new brand messaging with all of our target audiences.

We’d like to hear from you.

Have a specific question about the rollout of the new campaign that isn’t covered under FAQs? Send your questions to branding@gsw.edu, and we’ll do our very best to respond in a timely manner.

We’re thrilled to be on this brand journey with you! 

 

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