Introducing PhoenixGold—the name and logo for the new alumni association of Luther Preparatory School (LPS), in Watertown, WI.
Being on the ground floor of branding a new organization is honorary, exciting and fun. It’s also intimidating. So when Ken Taylor, mission advancement director for LPS, asked me to be part of his branding team, I felt all of the above. Not only was his committee creating a logo, they were literally building the structure of a brand new baby—name, identity, and all.
Here’s a bit of history:
Luther Preparatory School is like a merged family. As a WELS Lutheran high school, it was formed in 1995 by the amalgamation of Northwestern Preparatory School of Watertown and Martin Luther Preparatory School of Prairie du Chien. Back then, students came with histories from their original schools. Now, 16 years and more than a thousand graduates later, LPS is a united family cherishing strong Christian bonds.
Such a family needs its own alumni organization. It needs an organization unique from either of its feeder schools and it needs a visual identity to brand itself.
Ken has been awesome to work with. He knows his school well and gave the project lots of goal-oriented thought. In our initial conversation, he spoke of students emerging from LPS with spiritual and educated strength. He called them Golden. He also felt, as alumni, they share a love and responsibility for their school. As we brainstormed names and ideas for the organization, he directed our thinking toward those concepts.
The committee wanted to firmly associate the alumni organization with Luther Preparatory School. Using the same bird, typeface and colors, we visually tied the alumni’s name and logo to that of the school mascot’s.
Wrapping “Gold” around the Phoenix’s head emphasizes the idea of emergence, or rising. Adding a curved underline unites logo elements and conveys the school’s emphasis on the Word of God (the Bible).
As a new organization, PhoenixGold needs to be branded, or made known. This will take time and effort. In its introductory stages, LPS will use a tagline with the logo. Later, when the logo is easily associated with the organization, variations without the tagline will also be used.
Congratulations Luther Preparatory School on your new alumni organization! God’s blessings to PhoenixGold!