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Ready to Soar: New logo and tagline align with College brand

Home » News » Friends » 2019 » November » Ready to Soar: New logo and tagline align with College brand
Gerarden, pictured working on a lemonade stand with his son, was recently named one of Woodworking Network Magazine’s 40 under 40 award winners.
Gerarden, pictured working on a lemonade stand with his son, was recently named one of Woodworking Network Magazine’s 40 under 40 award winners.

Already nationally-recognized for student success and locally-respected for affordable, flexible education, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College is shining a light on its less touted attributes—and it all starts with a fresh logo and tagline. 

As Codey Gerarden sat in his Intro to Ethics class one April day, an unexpected thing happened. 

Gerarden, who was in his last semester of the Prototype and Design program at the time, found himself fighting back tears as his instructor talked about frequent words spoken at hospice – phrases like “I love you,” “thank you,” “I forgive you” and “please forgive me.”

Later that day on social media, Gerarden, of Gerarden Fabrication and Design LLC, shared his experience and its personal impact on him.

“My perspective of what a successful life looks like changed immediately upon hearing this,” Gerarden wrote.

Transformative moments like Gerarden’s are common at NWTC. Every day students realize their potential, discover their true passion and – like Gerarden – look at their lives differently. Yet, prospective students and area residents may not fully appreciate NWTC as a place to help individuals achieve their personal and professional aspirations.  

That is about to change.

NWTC recently updated its logo and tagline to reflect the College’s ability to inspire and transform lives not only with hands-on education, but with its lesser-known offerings like four-year transfer opportunities and degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“The future expectations of our students are changing the face of higher education,” NWTC President Dr. Jeff Rafn said. “Our role at NWTC is to help them shape their story and prepare with purpose. We have undergone a significant shift in our facilities and our programs to meet the needs of our students and our community through technology, flexibility, and workforce demand. Amidst these changes, we wanted to change the College’s logo and tagline in a way that reflected the ever evolving NWTC experience and journey of our students.”

Erica Plaza, director of NWTC Marketing and Web Services, echoed Rafn’s vision for the College. 

“NWTC is passionate, smart, transformative, bold, and student centered,” Plaza said. “Simply put, we are dedicated to helping our students soar higher.”

New logo symbolizes strength, confidence and success

Created in spring 2019 by the NWTC Marketing graphic design team, with input from NWTC faculty, staff, students and community members, the new logo is already printed on T-shirts, signs and marketing materials and published on the College website. 

The logo rollout came at the perfect time, according to Plaza.

“NWTC is ready to meet students where they are with regard to workforce demands, technology and flexibility,” Plaza said. “What better way to show the community and our students than to modernize our brand to reflect our goals.”

About the logo design

The shield symbolizes strength and confidence—the upward and forward movement represents success. The type treatment, which pairs a modern sans serif font and a bold serif font, enhances the clean and crisp edges of the icon. The hierarchy built upon the word “Northeast” emphasizes the NWTC location.

‘Soar Higher’ helps Tell the NWTC story

It is fair to say NWTC has a rock-solid standing in area communities as a trusted educational resource. For over 100 years, the College has produced highly-skilled graduates for northeast Wisconsin. Further, a 2018 perception study conducted by The Karma Group and commissioned by NWTC, found the College is highly regarded for offering flexible, affordable training and degree programs and for contributing to the economic vitality of the region. 

With its firmly-established reputation for educational excellence, NWTC sought to develop a new tagline that speaks to its often overlooked but equally important benefit: the ability to open people up to a life filled with purpose. 

The new tagline – Soar Higher – came from an NWTC student during a Student Senate meeting. The student conveyed how NWTC helps people reach for their dreams, higher than they thought they could.

“Our students are strong and challenge themselves more than ever,” said Rafn. “We want to do everything we can to see every student graduate. NWTC is about life’s journey.”

Commitment to student success stays the same

While specific NWTC brand elements have changed, the College’s focus on student success remains constant. 

“The logo and tagline are just pieces of the bigger story at NWTC – they are the physical representations of our overall service to northeast Wisconsin,” Plaza said. “It’s about our commitment to serve the community and our passion to help students succeed in their life’s ambitions.” 

Students like Jevin Deleon appreciate the student-centered culture. 

“I feel like this school tries really, really hard to keep you here. What stands out for me is that there is a place for everybody here,” the human resources student said. “I’ve joined three groups since I’ve been here. I’ve made a lot of friends, I see them outside of class, and I’m excited to come here.”

Deleon added, “They make you feel like, ‘we want you to come back. You’re welcome here, and we do hope you succeed.’”