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College of Notre Dame of Maryland Debuts New University Identity

July 1, 2011

In another step toward university designation on September 9, College of Notre Dame of Maryland is previewing its new branding and identity to website visitors, Facebook friends and Twitter followers this weekend. At the heart of the new Notre Dame of Maryland University identity is a blue and white rose with pale yellow accents, framed by a cross and shield, along with the university name presented in elegant type. Visitors to Ocean City, Md. will enjoy the preview on a digital floating billboard starting this weekend.

“Inspired by the beautiful mystic rose of Our Lady — Notre Dame — the new design perfectly reflects our rich history and tradition with a contemporary interpretation suited to our new role as a university,” said President Mary Pat Seurkamp. 

Created by Baltimore design firm SDYM, the Notre Dame of Maryland University identity was informed and influenced by relevant, iconic images found throughout the school’s campus:

• The rose at the center of the new design is a traditional symbol of Mary (the school’s patron) and dates back to the Middle Ages. 
• The shield and the bottony cross relate to the Maryland State seal and have appeared in Notre Dame’s identity throughout its history. The cross is present in the vivid black lines of the shield behind the rose.
• The strong black lines also evoke the lead separating panes of colorful stained glass. These same lines create arrows pointing star-like in different directions, as seen on the Marian rose.
• Notre Dame’s historic blue and white colors are central to the new design: White signifies truth, while blue represents beauty and is associated with Mary. 
• The typography is a customized typeface, evoking a subtle femininity, strength and character. Its contemporary look complements the clean lines of the symbol. Particularly distinctive is the “A,” reminiscent of the College’s iconic Gibbons Hall tower, as well as the arches and vaulted ceilings of Marikle Chapel of the Annunciation, and the swash “R,” which adds an elegant touch. 

[View the slideshow- Traditions and History, the new Notre Dame of Maryland identity.]

President Seurkamp said the logo and identity are the culmination of several months of research and deliberation: “From the moment we considered university status, we have worked diligently to include students, graduates, faculty and staff in all of our decision-making. You can see the passion and energy of that work reflected in our new identity—the desire to honor our past, highlight our strengths and embrace our future.”

“Graphic identities, which we have been designing for over 30 years, are often the most challenging kind of design project. But our immersion process and understanding of Notre Dame, combined with their inclusive and decisive approach, made this an amazingly smooth process,” said Cathy Yates, partner at SDYM.

New branding elements will be officially implemented on September 9, the date Notre Dame begins operating as a university, launches its redesigned website and dedicates its new entranceway. At that time, clothing, supplies and other products carrying the new logo will be available. However, the school will begin using the logo, as needed, on enrollment forms and recruitment publications starting in July. 

College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, engages students as confident, capable learners and leaders, thriving in the vibrant, personal community of its distinguished Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and College of Graduate Studies. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Notre Dame’s graduates change lives—in their careers, communities and families. On September 9, 2011, the College becomes Notre Dame of Maryland University.