• Southwestern's New Crest

Southwestern recently went through a full identity rebranding, introducing a new logo, new website, and other brand elements. The changes were implemented after careful consideration and research, and the new designs honor Southwestern’s storied past as well as its commitment to the future.  

Tim Cobb, Vice President for Integrated Communications and Southwestern’s Chief Marketing Officer, led his team through the rebranding efforts. He explains, “Our University has gone through a lot of changes and innovations in the last decade. The previous logo was no longer emblematic of where we are today or where we desire to go. The dated logo and typeface didn’t capture the direction we’re headed, and we needed a new symbol to reflect that.”

Changing the logo was part of a bigger brand process. “We completed an extensive brand audit and conducted surveys to identify our current brand position and determine opportunities to improve.” That research led to the development of new strategic brand positioning and key messaging. The updated logo was part of that project. 


The Process

“We carefully considered the icons we had, which included an official seal as well as a logo typeface.” The seal includes the names of our four founding institutions, Rutersville College, Wesleyan College, McKenzie College and Soule University, as well as Southwestern’s motto, “Non Quis Sed Quid” meaning “Not who, but what.” Cobb explains, “It was being used as the de facto logo, which was never its intended use.” We wanted to return it to its place of honor, as the official seal of the University, stamped on official documents such as diplomas.”

Official Southwestern University Seal

The marketing department next identified the need for brand identity system with various logo options that could be more widely used, and would translate well across multiple channels, including digital.

Research showed that potential students and their parents both identified a crest with prestigious universities. More modern logo designs were often mistaken for online university programs. So Eric Bumgardner, Director of Communications at Southwestern, took the lead in creating a new university crest that incorporates both the past and the future. It was designed with thoughtful attention to detail, and every symbol represents something meaningful to Southwestern.  


New Southwestern Crest

Southwestern University Crest

 Crest Symbolism

  • The Lone Star represents our position as the first university in the state of Texas.
  • The open books depict Southwestern’s two colleges, Brown College of Arts & Science and Sarofim School of Fine arts.
  • The four solid chevron lines represent Southwestern’s four founding colleges.
  • Southwestern was officially chartered by the Republic of Texas in the year 1840, making it the first institution of higher learning in the state.
  • The historic Roy and Lillie Cullen building has been an iconic fixture at Southwestern since the early 1900s.
  • Inscribed on the bottom border is Southwestern’s Latin motto. 

This crest lends itself to different usages. Various elements can be pulled out to simplify the design into logos that can be used in digital media, apparel, promotional materials and other areas. 


New Southwestern Brand Identity SystemSouthwestern Logo Iterations

The new logo system will first appear in the launch of Southwestern’s new website. The objective is to implement the new logo across all channels over the next several months, with the goal to have it replaced in all areas within a year.  The current athletic logos will remain the same.


For more information about Southwestern’s updated logo and rebranding efforts, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at sucommunications@southwestern.edu.