KU reveals new visual identity signature, `completed' Jayhawk with new logo

Sept. 7, 2005

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Six decades ago when University of Kansas advertising student Hal Sandy drew the famous happy Jayhawk mascot still in use today, he wanted to place the official “KU” lettering on its chest. But there was no official KU lettering then.

That finally changed earlier this summer when the university unveiled a new “KU” logo to serve as KU’s institutional symbol alongside the Jayhawk mascot and the formal university seal. So with Sandy standing by, KU today finished the job for him by revealing the “completed” Jayhawk mascot sporting the new official logo. It replaces a simple sans serif lettering.

Use of the newly completed Jayhawk will be phased in, most visibly during basketball season as it will grace the new floor in Allen Fieldhouse.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Paul Carttar, executive vice chancellor for external affairs, also unveiled the university’s new “signature,” the graphic placement of KU’s full name and logo, which will begin appearing on campus in various formats ranging from stationery to car and street signage as KU implements a universitywide visual identity system as part of its new integrated marketing effort.

In addition, the university debuted a new television commercial, featuring the signature, that will be seen during national football and basketball broadcasts

“An effective, efficient and uniform visual identity system will help strengthen and build on the strong reputation of the University of Kansas,” Carttar said. “When we look like one university, the depth and diversity of this great institution will be even more impressive. We will be able to tell the KU story better than ever before.

Carttar announced that a graphic identity standards manual along with the logo and signatures for university departments to use will be distributed via a web site on Sept. 27, thus beginning a phase-in process. Guidelines on Web, signage, merchandise and other elements of the system will follow .

Sandy, a 1947 KU graduate and retired marketing consultant who lives in Westwood Hills, said the Jayhawk is the only cartoon he ever drew. He was asked to create a “happy Jayhawk” in 1946 by the university’s public relations director who complained that the mascots then all appeared to be angry or snarling.

“It’s amazing the longevity of this little bird,” Sandy said. “But then Mickey Mouse, also happy and charming, is 75 years old and holding. Mickey has also gone through various evolutions like Henry Maloy’s original.

“Once in a while you do something that works, and lasts. I am very pleased this little guy is still working for the university,” Sandy said.

Just last week, Sandy’s Jayhawk was named one of the 12 best mascots in the nation as part of the Capital One All-America Mascot Team.

Sandy, a board member of the Friends of Nelson Gallery, is a founder and first president of the Historic Mount Oread Fund and the Historic Kansas City Foundation. Before establishing his own marketing consulting firm, he worked in advertising for the Beaumont and Hohman agency and and for Jensen-Salsberg Laboratories in Kansas City. He was twice elected mayor of Westwood, Kan. His wife, Wilda, is the author of the 1984 book, “Here Lies Kansas City: A Collection of Our City’s Notables and Their Final Resting Places.”