Northwest Shoals unveils new institutional brand
Northwest Shoals Community College launched a rebranded visual identity that celebrates the college’s unity and the impact it has had on Northwest Alabama since 1963.
The college’s rebrand initiative is a direct result of receiving a $100,000 national branding grant from the Lumina Foundation in August 2022 through the Million Dollar Community College Challenge.
According to NWSCC president Dr. Jeff Goodwin, the process started with one clear objective: listen to the campus community to discover the visual representation of what makes Northwest Shoals special. “Our research process was predominantly community and student driven,” said Goodwin. “We came out of those meetings aware that we needed a visual identity that was welcoming, unifying and collegiate.
The branding committee heard story after story about how Northwest Shoals changed students’ lives, but they did not feel our logo represented their collegiate experience.” The college held numerous market research meetings and logo concept testing focus groups. After meeting with alumni, faculty, staff, students, K-12 educators and community leaders, there was a clear consensus on the selection of the new visual identity.
“The new logo selection is very collegiate with a strong sense of unity,” said NWSCC’s public relations and marketing director, Trent Randolph. “Northwest Shoals is part of the fabric of our communities that we serve in Northwest Alabama. Regardless of the campus you visit, Northwest Shoals’ faculty and staff are united in serving our area schools, community, students and workforce in the best way we can.”
According to Randolph, another unifying symbol in the college’s rebrand was the removal of the hyphen between Northwest and Shoals. “Throughout the process, the rebranding committee noticed a general distaste for the hyphen among stakeholders. We found that, to many, it was seen as a divider between the campuses. We wanted to remedy any symbolism that did not signify our unity as a college.”
All logos were developed in partnership with Rickabaugh Graphics. Rickabaugh is a national collegiate branding firm and an official National Junior College Athletic Association branding partner. Digital branding updates for the college are being made currently. Signage and other collateral are being implemented in phases as funds allow.