Brand FAQs

MCLA's New Brand: Frequently Asked Questions


Why is MCLA changing its branding now?

It’s a best practice for all organizations to refresh their branding every 5-10 years—and this is a disruptive time for higher education. A smaller demographic of potential students and declining birthrates nationwide and in New England makes for a more competitive market. We want to rise to the challenge of increased competition and make sure MCLA’s strengths will resonate with students and their families for years to come.

Though MCLA has invested in creative marketing work before, our new branding represents the first time in College history that MCLA has made a major holistic investment in developing new marketing materials. That investment includes market research and surveys as well as creative work.

What’s changing?

All of our marketing materials, printed products, and social media graphics will reflect this brand. You’ll notice new graphic elements including semicircles, dotted lines, and ivy leaves.

Although the traditional blue and gold colors have not changed, we have developed a color palette that includes additional blues and a predominant navy, as well as new accent colors.

Our logo and wordmark remain the same, though they’re now in our new navy color.

Letterhead, PowerPoint, and business card templates have been redesigned along with other office materials and MCLA swag.

We have added guidelines on how to use this new brand, as well as specific guidelines on how to use the MCLA logo. Access them at

What’s not changing?

Who we are! This new branding is designed to show off what’s most important about MCLA—not make claims that don’t reflect our true identity. We are still a creative, progressive, and diverse campus with education and experiences that elevate you as a whole individual, a leader, and a communicator, fully empowered to make your impression on the world.

The Trailblazer athletic logo and athletic uniforms also will not change.

I need a business card and/or letterhead or Powerpoint templates. Where do I go?

Download letterhead and Powerpoint templates on the Logos and Style Guide page.

New business cards are on file with Beck’s Printing in North Adams; offices and departments can order new business cards by emailing and filling out the appropriate paperwork with MCLA Administration and Finance.

If you have questions, please email

What if I need a graphic treatment for my department that I don’t see in the graphics section of the guide?

It’s important to keep graphics within the system we’ve developed, and we can work with you to come up with a solution to accommodate most needs. Rather than using elements to develop on your own, please email

What if I need a logo for my department, program, office, or initiative?

Since multiple logos tend to dilute the brand, we are discouraging the creation and use of additional logos. We would be happy to help you develop a logo that reflects our new graphics and branding.

What happened to “My College Right From the Start”?

As per best practices for branding, we have retired this tagline, which was used in MCLA materials for nearly a decade.

Is there a replacement tagline? I’m confused.

MCLA contains multitudes. No single sentence can capture who we are—and in today’s world, it’s more impactful to show who we are through images, graphics, and supporting copy than to tell who we are with a simple tagline that does not reflect our whole story.

As part of this work, we developed a copywriting tool kit to help MCLA community members as they talk and write about the College. You can access it here. You will see some of the themes and phrasing from the tool kit used in marketing and advertising campaigns.

What about signs and other places on campus or online that still have the old logo?

We will be phasing in the new branding as time and funding allow. However, you may know of locations and signage we’re not aware of—so please let us know by emailing!

Are we still following AP Style?

Yes. There are a few specific exceptions, such as capitalizing “College” when referencing MCLA. Please refer to this page on College style for more information.

Who developed the branding?

This work is the result of more than a year of research, development, planning, and execution. MCLA worked with higher education marketing firm Simpson Scarborough to develop creative concepts and some materials. MCLA’s Office of Marketing and Communications is leading this work on campus.

This work was paid for through a generous alumni bequest donation. No tuition or state/federal dollars were used for this project.

The creative concept work—new fonts, colors, images, etc.—is based on market research and testing, including 2,000+ responses from prospective students, current students, alumni, faculty, staff, and high school guidance counselors. We’re proud to celebrate our new branding work and excited to see others on campus using it for their own projects.

Have other questions or comments? Email us at