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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Big W, Little W, what begins with W?

Reviewed Aug. 9, 2010 by Armin

Industry / Education Tags /

Wellesley College Logo, Before and After

Twelve miles from Boston, lies the picturesque campus of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Founded in 1875, Wellesley is a women-only liberal arts college that has consistently been ranked as one of the top in the U.S., most recently in the number four spot by the 2010 U.S. News and World Report. Graduates of Wellesley include Madeleine Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nora Ephron, and Diane Sawyer. Fictional graduates include Sigourney Weaver’s character in the movie Working Girl, Brittany Murphy’s in Just Married, Candice Bergen’s in the show Boston Legal, Chandra Wilson’s on Grey’s Anatomy, and, potentially, Lisa Simpson. Earlier this year, Wellesley redesigned its identity with the help of Base.

Our work is based around a custom monogram W, which in the college logo serves as a platform for the college name. To establish consistency among Wellesley’s departments, we assigned the school a specific blue and a pair of typefaces, and developed art direction concepts and a recognizable grid.
Base project description




Images source.

The new logo is as simple and straightforward as it gets. A big “W” and some Garamond. So, yes, it’s also fairly Old School. While this approach wouldn’t work for every institution, it works very well for this renown college, as it implies that its actions speak louder than any tricked out logo ever could. The custom “W” is nice, although nothing groundbreaking, just a solid execution. The lock-up with the college’s name is very nice, as it accentuates the diagonals of the letter and creates a nice crest-like shape that punctuates the printed materials very convincingly. I question the use of Garamond, simply because there are so many better contemporary serifs that are much more functional, with far more character (no pun intended), and are less generic.

Below is Pat Berman, Professor of Art at Wellesley College, explaining the new logo. It’s not the most enlightening dissertation on logos, but it’s a good lesson in how logos need to be explained to clients and interested parties.

Wellesley Identity Video Presentation from Base on Vimeo.

Thanks to James White for the tip.



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