Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, North America’s leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism, is inaugurating a new logo and visual identity system at the start of its 142nd academic year.
“Our innovative brand identity represents an exciting moment in our institution’s history – one that reflects our progressive approach to our tradition through the lens of contemporary Jewish experience and expresses our optimism for a bright future,” states Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., HUC-JIR President.
Shavrick & Partners, a design agency with extensive professional expertise in brand development in the digital age, guided this project with a thoughtful process of discovery, consultation, concept development, and design. David Shavrick conducted focus groups with scores of representatives of all of HUC-JIR’s stakeholder groups – faculty, administration, students, staff, alumni, and Board members. These engaging conversations helped him develop a deep understanding of HUC-JIR’s mission, which he synthesized in a new “look and feel” for HUC-JIR’s logo and collateral print and digital materials.
The new logo is based on the concept of an “open” six-pointed star, a core symbol of Jewish identity. The “open” design messages HUC-JIR’s institutional values of innovation and inclusivity. The multi-colored elements of the star reflect its commitment to diversity and free inquiry. The geometry of the colored shapes expresses the dynamic energy that permeates its classrooms and engagement with the larger community. Connecting the shapes that make up the logo and extending this pattern in the design of other materials points to the connections that bind HUC-JIR’s programs, our campuses, and the Jewish people.
In the weeks and months head, the new branding will be implemented throughout HUC-JIR’s digital and print materials, from its website to recruitment publications, to its electronic newsletters and invitations to social media and campus signage.
HUC-JIR’s original seal and biblical excerpts, chosen by founder Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise in 1875, will continue to appear on diplomas, certificates, and select official documents. HUC-JIR’s new visual identity addresses the needs of today’s world where communications is driven by digital media.
“We are excited to launch our new branding system, designed to reinforce our vision and mission to create a new generation of Jewish leaders,” says Andrew R. Berger, Chair, HUC-JIR Board of Governors.