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Logo Background

A Brief History

In 1986, our campus began using the UT System logo, often called the “winged UT,” for everything except athletics. For many years, UT System campuses and institutes used the same graphic identity system in an effort to communicate the collective value of the various entities.

Research from 2011 and 2012 showed that our audiences, both internal stakeholders and the general public, affiliate with individual campuses instead of the system. As a result, UT System administration began actively working with UT campuses and institutes on how to best position the individual entities while maintaining the strength of a statewide system.

The decision to update the logo was made in 2014 based on results from audience research, guidance from stakeholders, and in partnership with athletics.

Research

Qualitative and quantitative research conducted in 2011 and 2012 showed a gap between how our audiences viewed the university and how we presented ourselves to them.

In late 2013, as part of its ongoing marketing strategy development, the Office of Communications and Marketing began investigating the possibility of updating our logo.

Initial benchmarking against Top 25 and SEC peer and aspirational institutions was presented to the Chancellor’s Cabinet in early 2014. That spring, an internal advisory group was convened to help guide additional research.

With guidance from the advisory group, the research team at the marketing firm Lipman Hearne conducted eleven focus group sessions in April and May. Results of that qualitative research showed:

  • little recognition of or affinity for the system logo;
  • strong recognition of and affinity for the Power T; and
  • direct associations between the Power T and many desired attributes, including selective, strong, flagship, national reputation, quality, well-rounded, and top-ranked.

The advisory group reviewed the research findings in May 2014 and recommended that campus administration proceed with a new campus logo. Our new logo was announced in October 2014 and was implemented beginning January 1, 2015.

Identity Research Advisory Group

Margie Nichols (chair)
Vice Chancellor, Office of Communications and Marketing

Kari Alldredge
Assistant Dean and Director, Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Erik Bledsoe
Director, Creative Communications

John Compton
Alumnus
Former President, PepsiCo Inc.

Grant Davis
Undergraduate Student
Student Services Director, SGA

Chris Fuller
Senior Associate Athletic Director

David Golden
Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology
President, Faculty Senate

Mike Keener
Director, Office of Trademark Licensing

Steve Mangum
Dean, Haslam College of Business

David Matthews
Associate Dean, College of Architecture and Design
Chair, Interior Design

Lee Patouillet
Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Alumni and Development

Jacob Rudolph
Marketing Director, Creative Communications

Melissa Shivers
Associate Vice Chancellor, Division of Student Life
Dean of Students

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

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