Brooklyn College’s Visual Identity System

The New York Post reported one year ago that the Brooklyn College spent over $100,000 to replace the logo because of what it looked like.

“After the new, text-only logo was created,” the Post reported, “the college also published a 29-page ‘Visual Identity System’ with exacting standards on how it should be used.” A year later, I’ve had some opportunities to actually use the new visual identity system. I think it’s pretty awesome, and I’d like to explain why.

A visual identity system is a collection of rules that describe the correct way to use a brand’s colors and logos. Visual identity is a core part marketing, and ultimately defines how people perceive your marketing materials. It’s definitely worth $107,000 if you’re a large company or a university.

These guidelines often say things like “keep a margin of x inches around our logo” or use this color when writing our name. Although these rules seem restrictive, they actually make it easier for designers to with logos and brand marks, because they take the guesswork out of including those graphics in your marketing materials.

Generally speaking, this ensures that whatever employees produce for a company looks and feels like it comes from that company. Third parties that run events in conjunction with a business, for example, can correctly identify co-sponsors on flyers and t-shirts being distributed.

Brooklyn College isn’t the first to publish guidelines on how to correctly use its branding. Many companies do it. Apple has guidelines for how to use their product images in app marketing. There’s a separate page for App Store badges. Github explains the correct way to use their logo on websites that may link back to them.

Brooklyn College isn’t even the first university to develop a visual identity system either. Searching Google for “university visual identity” returns over ten million results. Georgetown, Wisconsin, Indiana, Rutgers, and the list goes on.

Several reports available online quote the post and pick on the fact that the President Gould is said to have thought the old logo looked phallic. Those reports totally miss the point. Sure, the school administration may have decided to change the logo on a whim, but what they got out of the process was something much more useful.

The guide is available on Brooklyn College’s website.

Guest Post: “Three Brothers and the ‘Three Weeks’”

The following article discusses the recent events in Israel, and comes from my cousin who lives there. He wishes to remain anonymous, but I think this is worth sharing, and I do so with his permission. Beyond this sentence are his words:

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Profile: David J Rosenberg

I originally wrote this profile back in April 2014 for a journalism class. When I first shared it online, I received some backlash because of the nature of the story. Although I quickly removed all traces of the article, I asked David if he was really ok with me sharing it. He reassured me that he was, and that if he was uncomfortable with the story that follows, wouldn’t have agreed to interview for my paper in the first place. With that disclaimer, I present this profile:

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Codename Walnut

I wrote a program to pull out class listings from CUNYFirst last semester. I worked on it with some great people at Brooklyn College, and today I’m releasing that code to the public.

Walnut was my independent study project for a course I took for my major. I also had to write several reports, and the final report is available here.

You can find Walnut on GitHub, along with instructions on using it.

Although I didn’t finish all of the features I wanted to, the concept works and it’s pretty cool.

A Trip to Orlando

Sitting in Universal Studios in Orlando, I can confirm that the sun is working as expected. According to my iPhone, its 88 degreed Fahrenheit, a good 17 degrees warmer than my native New York City. I can also confirm that there are some kosher options in the area, but not many.

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7 Apple Mistakes that Make You Sound Stupid

In the age of autocorrect and SMS shorthand, many people are lazy and don’t bother learning what new words mean or how to use them. This is a list of the top seven mistakes people make. If you do any of these, I may judge you.

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Young Israel of Manhattan Makes Championships for the First Time in 25 Years

Young Israel of Manhattan´╗┐’s junior varsity basketball team lost to Mesivta Ateres Yaakov in the Young Israel basketball league championships at West Hempstead Middle School on Sunday.

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Snail Mail Advertising for iPad App Shows Immediate Promise

Someone from a synagogue in Chicago just called me unexpectedly to inquire about my app Gabbai´╗┐, in response to me sending out a batch of brochures last week.

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Cloak and Dagger: A Creepy App You Need To Follow

A recently released iPhone app enables you to track your friends on four social networks, and can alert you if a friend is nearby, using location data from their statuses, tweets, check-ins, and photos.

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