Banners Lead the Way in Introducing Mason’s New Logo

Posted: August 19, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Rey Banks

If you haven’t noticed the new banners at various parking lots and entrances to George Mason’s campuses, don’t blame Traci Claar. The director of community relations has been toiling over the production, placement, and installation of the new 60-inch long banners for weeks. Although the installation was delayed by threats of hurricane winds, the fruits of her labors were finally realized when 25 poles on the Fairfax Campus and 7 on the Arlington Campus were adorned with the new banners. The 15 banners at the Prince William Campus will be installed by Friday.

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The banners are one way the university is welcoming the students and faculty back to begin a new academic year. The banners are also a great way to promote George Mason’s new jaunty, green and gold, waving quill logo.

“We had quite a detailed process to select the new logo,” says Helen Ackerman, vice president for University Relations. “The challenge was to capture the distinctive dual nature of George Mason–traditional academic quality within an extraordinary culture of innovation and diversity. In the end, the quill from the seal was selected as an appropriate symbol, but transformed into something contemporary and harder-edged that also represents a flame and a sense of movement and energy.”

While the banner may be the most visible use of the logo, its appearance will soon be ubiquitous. From notepads to pencils, key chains and coffee mugs, the image of the quill will soon be synonymous with the name of well, you-know-who. The logo will gradually be phased in on stationery, business cards, and general university publications.

The university’s Creative Services team is responsible for the unique design of the banner. “Some of the other universities in Virginia have done a very nice job with their banners,” says Colleen Kearney Rich, a project manager in Creative Services. “The introduction of the new logo is the perfect time to create a presence on campus. We are also lucky to have incredible designers like Joan Dall’Acqua and Sarah Seeberg working for us. It makes all the difference.”

From start to finish, the production of the banners took two months to complete. In addition to determining where the banners would receive maximum exposure, Claar has also been busy writing new banner space policies. “George Mason is a beautiful university, and the banners add a sense of pride and energy to the campus,” remarks Claar. “In an effort to raise the visual identity and ensure an aesthetic continuity on all of our campuses, we also felt it necessary to establish some guidelines for the future use of outdoor banner space,” she adds.

If, in the past, people attending events at the Patriot Center or Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus did not realize they were on a college campus, that will no longer be the case. With the vibrantly green-and-gold-colored banners decorating the lampposts, whether you’re coming or going, the newly designed Patriot banner and logo will be there to wave you on.

A workshop on how to use Mason’s new logo will be offered during BYTE Week (Build your Technology and Teaching Expertise), which runs from Aug. 23 to 27. Guidelines for use of the new logo are being developed and will be sent to all departments the first week of classes. At that time, they will also be available for viewing at

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