By Rebecca Burylo and Caroline Thompson
Deep Christian faith, high academic standards, and campus community are what define Faulkner. What better way to broadcast that to the world than by creating an academic brand that better aligns with our direction as a university.
“The leaders on campus including President Mike Williams began discussion of developing a more academic-looking icon,” said Patrick Gregory, Director of University Marketing. “John Tyson, Mark Hunt and I created a team to work on the project and together we contacted Greg Hahn.”
Greg Hahn is a graphic design artist and logo designer, who owns Designs by Hahn. For years he’s been helping businesses, athletic teams, universities and organizations create images that best portray their brand.
“The work I do is bigger than the design itself. The logo represents a community and people identify with it,” Hahn said. “They wear it on their clothes or use it as a bumper sticker. It’s more than just a pretty picture. It’s rewarding to know that an idea that began as a simple sketch can go on to be valuable to the organizations that will use the design for years, hopefully decades, to come and I’m thankful to Faulkner for entrusting me to work on this.”
The new logo replaces Faulkner’s original logo created nearly 35 years ago, which consisted of the traditional curved Faulkner ‘F’ with an image of the spire from atop the E.L. Collum Rotunda driving up the through the center. This image was adopted shortly after the university changed its name from Alabama Christian College to Faulkner University in 1985.
The Rotunda was one of the first buildings on campus when the school moved to its current location. Over the years, as Faulkner expanded its program offerings, and more students enrolled, additional buildings were constructed to accommodate that growth. Many of these buildings have a distinct architectural design element featuring a cupola, or a small dome structure on top, including the new front entrance.
Gregory sent Hahn several images of those buildings along with the Freeman Tower in order to sketch ideas for the design.
“We wanted the updated logo to be a crest, something that included the architectural features found around campus that everyone, both alumni and current students could recognize and take pride in,” Gregory said.
“It was decided that the entrance building is a structure that everyone on campus would instantly recognize and connect to Faulkner’s identity. Although the building’s features are fixed, there are multiple ways to render it. My goal was to capture the unique way that lighting falls onto the top of the structure and the spire. I chose to position it at an angle where the viewer is looking upward at the spire and cross,” Hahn said.
“This is the angle at which most people will naturally view the entrance building as they enter campus, and at the same time, it gives the logo an esteemed look as it towers above. The outer crest shape frames it all together.”
“Pat Gregory and I decided to also incorporate a cross. I was really pleased with how all these elements fit within the crest, while maintaining a clean overall design.”
The design was presented to two focus groups. One group consisted of faculty and staff while the other was made up of students.
The students’ overall response was positive, though they suggested to enlarge the ‘F’ in the center. Likewise, the faculty suggested distinguishing the center cross even further by outlining it in its entirety. Both suggestions were incorporated into the official design.
“I enjoyed being a part of the creative process and giving input in conjunction with other students,” said Emma Revels, one of the students in the focus group.
The logo was introduced to the public at this year’s annual Benefit Dinner.
“I think this new design provides Faulkner with a distinguished crest that visually aligns with the mission and vision of Faulkner and showcases the level of prestige and academic standing we have in the community,” Gregory said. “We have a campus full of talented and professional students and professors and we want Montgomery and the rest of the country to know that.”