The Gustavian Weekly

Gus gets a makeover | The Gustavian Weekly

By Lareesa Sandretsky Asst. News Editor | February 24, 2012 | News

On February 27, Gustavus will vote for a new logo for Gus the lion. The winning logo will be announced on Oct. 13, 2012 at Homecoming, which coincides with the closing of the Sesquicentennial.

“In research, we found that people saw the three crowns and thought of Sweden. That was why we went with a new logo,” Tim Kennedy, assistant vice president and director of multimedia innovation in marketing and communications, said.

The new logo integrated a “G” with the three crowns and the slogan “Make your life count,” which replaced the old slogan, “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Place” and logo of three crowns.

“When we started the marketing and branding campaign of “Make Your Life Count” we took a serious look at all the visual identities of the college … just in the Athletic Department we were using several different logos,” Kennedy said. At the time, he was the sports information director.

Eventually, the shield concept was developed. To stick with the new streamlining philosophy, the old images had to be abandoned. As a result, the old Gus logo that had represented the Athletic Department was retired. The lion logo, however, had not stayed in the Athletic Department.

“The image had carried all over the college and different organizations were using it,” Kennedy said.

When Athletics retired the image, some members of the Gustavus community interpreted this as losing a mascot. Student Senate originally brought up the issue.

In response, the Student Activities Office, the Bookmark, Athletics, Admissions, Student Senate, Student Affairs and Marketing formed a committee to develop a clear image of what Gus should look like, with the assistance of BD&E, a branding and marketing company.

“The survey will be sent out next Monday [Feb. 27] and Thursday [March 1, 2012]. Voting will close Friday [March 2, 2012],” Andrea Junso, assistant director of student activities, said.

“We’re excited to get the image so we can start ordering clothing [and merchandise] for next fall,” Jaclyn Wettergren, clothing buyer for the Bookmark, said.


Comments are the sole opinion of the visitor who submitted the comment and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author of the article, its editors, or The Gustavian Weekly or Gustavus Adolphus College as a whole.

  1. L B says:

    Seriously, those are the Gus images they came up with.

    Sorry new Gusties.

    • John J. says:

      I absolutely agree with this comment. Gustavus is better than these childish lion heads. Its a real wonder how admissions can manage to get the class sizes they do. If I were an incoming student again I would laugh GAC off and look elsewhere.

    • E-man says:

      Want to stop this? Post this link to Facebook, ask your alumni friends to comment on *this* page and repost the link on their Facebook page. Social media is powerful.

  2. M C says:

    I second that comment. Is this a joke?

  3. A N says:

    Why are the only options cartoons? These are horrible.

  4. KS says:

    I also agree, what was wrong with the old lion silhouette, and since when is identifying with Sweden a bad thing?

  5. Liz says:

    They seem a little childish. I love the old Gus…determined, a force to be reckoned with, sophisticated.

  6. Louis says:

    Agreed with all of the above. These do not look good…

  7. Brian Fahey says:

    I agree. The old silhouette was recognizable and professional. These are for children’s books.

  8. Collin Lehman '11 says:

    Wow, just wow sorry new Gusties.

  9. S H says:

    I agree with everything said above. These look like they belong among images of Mickey, Bugs, and Barney. Please bring the old Gus back!

  10. Diappointd alumnus '03 says:

    These logos are awful. It would be wise to heed these comments, which are unanimously negative, and scrap these logos in favor of old Gus.

  11. Sheesh says:

    Do you think Harvard changes thier logo every few years? Only clown colleges pull crap like this.

  12. Bob Warner says:

    These are embarrassing. Are you going to change the school colors to pink and lavendar. ’76’

  13. GAC '05 says:

    Wow, please reconsider this. These are just awful. Even if they weren’t awful, what’s wrong with being associated with Sweden? Gustavus should be proud of its Swedish heritage. The three crowns and silhouette lion shouldn’t be replaced.

  14. ME '03 says:


  15. Sheesh says:

    Yeah, we wouldn’t want to be associated with Sweden. Nevermind that the King and Queen of Sweden are coming to Gustavus next fall.

  16. MH '10 says:

    Instead of “Make Your Life Count” let’s change the motto to “Hakuna Matata” and throw in an image of Timon and Pumba.

  17. TLF, '14 says:

    I am going to be spending my four years at this school deciding on a logo rather than being represented by one >.< Get it together, GAC.

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  21. Adam Butler '08 says:

    These are awful. Please reconsider. Very, very disappointed.

  22. Ben Richter, '07 says:

    First one looks too much like “The Lion King.” Second one looks way too childish. Third one is OK, but still not feeling it.

    I see Gus as a mascot, not a logo. He doesn’t need to become the face of the athletics program. Stick with the three crowns. Even the G or shield are better in my opinion.

  23. Collin Lehman says:

    So much identity crisis bs; so much for having any tradition left at GAC..

  24. Ashley Houston '08 says:

    I would also ask that the images up for vote be reconsidered. None look professional or represent what my vision of Gustavus, it’s prestige or standards. It is disappointing to see this is the direction things are going.

  25. Andrew Johnson says:

    Stick to a traditional look. What’s wrong with three crowns?

  26. Dave Christians '09 says:

    These designs are way too cartoonish. I know everyone is anticipating the release of ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ but this is just absurd. Keep the Three Crowns and either keep the old lion design or find a different branding and marketing agency to create better designs.

  27. B.S. '09 says:

    *smacks hand against forehead*

  28. John Anderson '09 says:

    This makes me look forward to all the undoubted hijinks that Gus and his rag tag bunch of friends are going to get in to…..out wait….this isn’t for a cartoon? This is how we are going to “brand” ourselves? If Gustavus Adolphus was a sugar coated cereal I could see this working, in reality it’s a place for higher education. I couldn’t be paid to wear this proudly on a sweatshirt.

  29. Matthew Claypool says:

    We spend how much money on these designs! I am so glad that I am done after this year, tution goes up to pay for this Joke! I am sorry to all the new Gusties coming in. I am wondering what ever happened to tradition?

  30. Embarrassed Alum '08 says:

    Tradition, honor, and prestige traded in for campy, dumb, and embarrassing. If Kennedy, Junso and the others in charge of this unfortunate decision had any common sense they would pull back this campaign. I for one will not be donating any money to a historic institution who trades in their iconic “Three Crowns” for a silly cartoon lion.

  31. Kristine Straumann says:

    These are terrible! How embarrassing….

  32. Joe Kuechenmeister says:

    Keep the 3 crowns! 100% agree with Ben Richter…we’d be the joke of the MIAC if we used any of these examples…

  33. GAC '07 says:

    Unbelievably, shockingly ridiculous. What else can I say?

  34. Gustie '09 says:

    Keep the crowns. There is no reason to mess with tradition.

  35. '09 says:

    These look like logos for a daycare, not a college. If Gustavus wants to rebrand itself, a silly cartoon is definitely not the answer.

  36. GAC '10 says:

    Good to see the design team knows how to use Microsoft clip art.

  37. Matt Stewart '09 says:

    I feel the look of these new logos is childish, almost as if my four year old niece came up with them. While I understand trying to rebrand for the 150th I do not believe it is in the best interest of the college to use any of these logos. I thoroughly enjoyed the Three Crowns logo (it made us stand apart from many other schools) and the old Gus silhouette had a certain amount of pride that can not be attached to these proposals.

  38. Upset beyond Reasoning says:

    Why are we messing with tradition!!!!! If the logo changes you are only showing that you are not proud of being a Gustie! The current logos are what the alum and majority of GAC students relate to. It’d be a joke on you half to change this. I thought we were celebrating our past with Gustavus150 [hence the logos!] and not saying we don’t like ourselves.

  39. Jordan Walker '11 says:

    Great new logo choices if you’re advertising for Gustavus Adolphus Elementary School. Please, please, please don’t do this! Keep the three crowns and the old gus logo! Why waste the money, alienate alumni & turn off prospective students with these embarrassingly campy renditions of Gustavus’ most loved icons? These cartoons are not representative of the quality of institution which Gustavus is or hopes to be. They are the foolish creations of an obviously incapable marketing firm. New is NOT always improved. Forgetting the past is forgetting our roots and our basic structure. Enough with the identity crisis, GAC. You’re golden as is.

  40. Katie Cummings says:

    I agree with all the comments saying that the 3 options are all awful. Why are there no comments in support of the idea, and why hasn’t the administration commented?

  41. GAC '08 says:

    The three crowns and silhouette lion shouldn’t be replaced.

    Also, “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Place” is much better than “Make your life count”.

  42. Davis Zismer says:

    The new options skew young and are not consistent with the new shield logo that was recently introduced. A branding refresh is never a bad thing, but please consider what type of marks you want representing Gustavus moving forward, how they align, and how they can be used to compliment each other.

    What’s wrong with the three crowns? Let’s not forget Guatavus was founded by Sweedish Lutheran Americans. Whatever the final outcome is I hope it’s something all Gustsies can be proud of, Good luck!

  43. SJ 09 says:

    I couldn’t agree more with keeping the 3 crowns. That is what people know Gustavus for. By taking them away, alumni feel less connected. Also, I would never wear anything with any of those logo options on it. Just stick to what works and that’s the 3 crowns, not some cartoon. Let’s not make Gustavus like a joke. Gustavus is a school based on tradition..let’s keep it that way. Please..I’m sure alumni donating their money wouldn’t like it to go to pay for our logo to be a cartoon…just a thought.

  44. Andrew N. says:

    uff da.

  45. Concerned Alum '09 says:

    Why aren’t we sticking to tradition. The three crowns are something to be proud of, something all alumni can associate with. It is understandable to revamp images but the steps the administration are taking right now is going to take away connections that we, as alumni, hold so dear. Tradition is important to everyone. By turing your back on tradition you are turning your back on the strong history that Gustavus has had for the past 150years. To celebrate the 150yrs we should be recalling images of the past and celebrating them. And the alumni should have more of a say in this process and the way our alma mater is being represented. If the school wants our money and our support they need to take the necessary steps to uphold tradition and give alumni consideration in these matters.

  46. Recent Graduate says:

    I agree with what’s been said above. These logos do not represent Gustavus or our students. It baffles me that a brand and marketing company contributed to this project. You’d think that professionals (who do this day after day) would understand that childish, cartoon-like images will not resonate with our students and alumni.

    I would take a close look at this work and think very carefully about the people whose opinions and research you are trusting. Can you honestly stand behind this work and say you believe it represents Gustavus, let alone any college or university? It’s extremely childish. The fact that 100% of the comments on this post are negative is also a good clue. Please reconsider! I am proud to be a Gustie, but these images do not align with the Gustavus I know. It would be a shame to see the school I love present itself in such an unprofessional and inaccurate light.

  47. LEH '06 says:


    My vote is for NONE. The old logo was classy and strong – perfect for a strong, nordic school.
    These are just, well, silly-looking.

  48. J says:

    Fine change the lion. However, if there is a cartoon lion on the floor of Gus Young Court next time I walk in the gym instead of three crowns I might walk out and never walk back in.

    When I asked my roommate who did not attend Gustavus what she thought of when she saw the three crowns she said Gustavus. The only people who think of Sweden when they see three crowns might be Gusties. I personally am proud to be a part of the Swedish heritage that is Gustavus.

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  49. E-man says:

    Want to stop this? Post this link to Facebook, ask your alumni friends to comment on *this* page and repost on their Facebook page. Social media is powerful.

  50. slogan says:

    Fine change the lion. However, if there is a cartoon lion on the floor of Gus Young Court next time I walk in the gym instead of three crowns I might walk out and never walk back in.