Thursday, July 17, 2008

Get your logos in line...

Yesterday I attended one of the Illinois Identity Standards Workshops presented by Joel Steinfeldt ( and Bridget Jamieson ( Joel and Bridget gave an excellent presentation, and I really appreciated (as I’m sure others did) the comprehensives of their presentation, as well as their willingness to stick around after it was over and answer all of the audience’s follow-up questions (mostly along the lines of, “Oaky, but does this apply to this thing my department is doing?” Here are my notes/highlights (please send me any corrections, I was madly trying to absorb it all, ask questions, look over material that was being passed around, and take these notes ;) .

The I-mark and related logos that incorporated the I-mark were originally developed in 1997, and Creative Services provided logos incorporating the I-mark at no charge to U of I entities subsequent to its creation. The original design was horizontal (mostly for use headers/footers).

Joel estimates, conservatively, that the cost for across campus for units to hiring out or do in-house logo designs has cost the university $383k-$816k (conservatively), and this doesn’t include efforts to get the logo/brand recognized (research shows 8-12 exposures are required for someone to recognize a logo).

Most units that have created/used logos haven’t investigates trademark and legal issues surrounding the logos they created, and where they did they duplicated university spending on the official brand (I-mark and related identity branding).

In 1996 the Provost required all units to consistently use the I-mark, and we achieved a >90% compliance.

Market research has been conducted and the term “Illinois”, right after the term “University of Illinois”, is the term most closely associated with our campus (recognition generated by our renowned athletics department largely contributed to this).

Departments, units and programs should only refer to themselves in text (that includes the horizontal designs with the I-mark leading, like on the current library gateway, with some minor modifications- more on that later).

Although either logo is acceptable, the preferred logo is the simple Illinois Logo (I-mark and text Illinois) rather than the Urbana-Champaign logo.

Joel and Bridget gave a quick overview of some campus leaders with regards to being compliant with the new standards. I didn’t have time to note them all, but they included the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, and the School of Social Work.

The Illinois Identity Standards site has a Brand Rubric for Logo/Identity Standards Exemptions that you can use to determine if something should rate a logo exemption.

The new standards include a grace period up to September 7, 2008 for web and print materials. Already produced print materials can be used up even if they don’t comply until January 1, 2010. The new rules apply to web pages and PowerPoint presentations developed after September 7, 2008 and will apply to all campus home pages (but not all their web content pages) by January 1, 2009. The standard will be extended to all web pages January 1, 2010. There is now a consequence for not following these standards (a first for logos/identity standards). It is included in the Strategic Plan metric, although details on analysis and enforcement/penalties haven’t been firmed up yet.

They are rigorous, recently updated rules for licensing merchandise. Among others requirements, if the i-Mark is used on merchandise it must include the trademark or registered trademark version of the I-mark. All merchandise must be manufactured by a University of Illinois approved licensed manufacturer Part of getting approved on this list forces them to adhere to fair labor practices, they must carry a certain amount of insurance (cotton allergies and they sue us, the manufacturer, etc.- the manufacturer must also have insurance), etc. They must also prove they can meet minimum quality requirements, and must pay a royalty fee.

There are some materials that you may work with that exempts it from requiring the tm or registered tm- if it would negatively effect the aesthetic design, it would negatively effect the quality of the product, etc (like the little brass I-mark magnetic pins they handed out today). However, the packaging the merchandise comes in, if any, should include the registered tm/tm on the packaging somewhere.

Creative Services is offering free consultation services to assist with compliant redesign of elements that have been flagged as logos.

As long as the graphic element you are making/using doesn’t represent a campus unit, you can stylize the material. So material promoting a particular one-off event or product can have its own logo-like element. A magazine is a product of a unit, so the magazine could have its own logo.

Course materials, teaching materials, personal faculty pages, etc. are not covered by this standard.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New UIUC Library LibX Toolbar for Firefox

Sorry for the big gap in posting, but we've been busy in the Office of Web technologies & Content Coordination. I'll make some more general updates about what we've been up to shortly, but before that, and without further ado, I bring to you: the library LibX toolbar!

David Ward and I have been working on a LibX toolbar for the UIUC library, the LibX University Of Illinois at Urbana Champaign edition (we'll have some more information and screenshots put together as soon as we finish adding all the additional features people have been requesting ;) . This toolbar offers all of the options that were available in the UIUC Library Toolbar, as well as some new ones. Even better, the LibX toolbar works with the Firefox 3. We'll be making some announcements to libnews list-serv shortly. Stay tuned! For now, feel free to download the latest build of the LibX University Of Illinois at Urbana Champaign edition. You can leave feedback or requests regarding the toolbar here on the blog, send it to David or me directly, or use the built in "Comments about the UIUC Library Toolbar" options in the libX Quick Links drop down menu (the far right hand menu in the libX toolbar).

LibX is supported by an amazing open source community. Unfortunately, while they were rushing to update LibX to work with Firefox 3, some of the changes they made caused the Internet Explorer version of the toolbar to break (see: LibX Internet Explorer Version Features and Issues) , but we expect a new IE compatible version to be available soon. Until then, IE users can continue to use the UIUC Library Toolbar for Internet Explorer. More to follow…