SAIS has unveiled a new logo as part of a broader project to update and standardize the school's institutional identity.
In summer 1999, SAIS began the yearlong process of creating an identity program to establish a more professional and coordinated "look" for the school's publications, printed materials, Web site, signage and all promotional items, from T-shirts to coffee mugs. SAIS selected Auras, a graphic design firm based in Silver Spring, Md., to assist with the project.
Early in the process, Auras recommended that SAIS begin by modernizing its logo, which had been used since the early 1980s. After reviewing dozens of prototypes and receiving input from students, faculty and staff in Washington and Bologna, SAIS selected a circular design that has the SAIS acronym surrounded by Washington * Nanjing * Bologna.
The SAIS community favored the updated design because it includes a hint of the old logo while presenting a contemporary vision for the new millennium and highlighting SAIS' worldwide presence through its three campuses.
Beyond the logo, Auras is helping SAIS develop new graphic standards and design elements that will be incorporated into all SAIS publications and the Web.
Felisa Neuringer, director of public affairs for SAIS, said the impetus of the identity push was the lack of any "clear overreaching theme or common element" in the school's image.
"We wanted a unifying identity to tie all aspects of SAIS together," Neuringer said, "and also to make it as professional and current as possible. We felt it was time to update our look."
Neuringer said the school's Web site and publications will be integrating other elements of the new identity scheme sometime within the next two months.
Long term, Neuringer said SAIS buildings will receive new signage.