“The Pennsylvania State University (commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU) is a public, state-related research university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the university has a stated threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Its University Park campus, the flagship campus, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township. It has two law schools, Penn State Law, on the school’s University Park campus, and Dickinson Law, located in Carlisle. The College of Medicine is located in Hershey. Penn State has another 19 commonwealth campuses and 5 special-mission campuses located across the state. Penn State has been labeled one of the “Public Ivies,” a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League. Annual enrollment at the University Park campus totals more than 45,000 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States. It has the world’s largest dues-paying alumni association. The university’s total enrollment in 2009-10 was approximately 94,300 across its 24 campuses and online through its World Campus.” (Wikipedia)
Jerry Kuyper Partners (Westport, CT)
The updated mark focuses on the head and face of the Nittany Lion Shrine in a more contemporary and engaging way, continuing its heritage and providing the same sense of stature as the sculpture. A slight curve at the top of the shield makes it more distinctive, while reflecting the shape of the lion. Additionally, the lion is now positioned to look forward and connect with the Penn State name.
Images (opinion after)
The lock-up of the old logo was its weak point, making it really hard to discern what was going on inside that shield, even at large sizes. The wordmark took too much prominence and the line created a lot of non-beneficial whitespace on the right. The old (and new) logo depict the Nittany Lion Shrine that is the university's mascot and, according to Wikipedia, is the second most photographed landmark in Pennsylvania, behind the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. It's very important to know that that's what the logo is because otherwise that's one dead-eyed-looking lion, which was my first thought. After seeing the sculpture, the logo is a great rendering that has been solidly drawn (literally and metaphorically). It's been nicely integrated with the shield too, creating a harmonious relationship. The typography is okay but perhaps the hard slab serif could have been softer to match the icon. Overall, a definite improvement but the most enjoyable part is how carefully worded the press release is to placate all the haters, complainers, and knee-jerk reactionists.
Thanks to Philip Barket for the tip.