Span Goes Back To School

Identity Captures University’s Transformation

Nazareth University (formerly Nazareth College) recently achieved university status as it approaches its 100 anniversary. To commemorate the milestone and embrace its evolution, Nazareth engaged Span to create a comprehensive visual identity system. Established in 1923 by four Ph.D nuns, Nazareth has has transformed itself into a dynamic and inclusive community of learners from diverse backgrounds and faiths. As the institution embarks on its next century, aligning its identity with that reality became a priority.



In order to delve deeply into the culture, Span set up shop on campus. Out of a one week intensive with students and faculty, Span devised a brand identity solution based on how Nazareth is informally referred to: NAZ. The three letterforms were meticulously redrawn, combining traditional, capital calligraphic elements with a fresh and contemporary style. The wordmark, set in Luzi Type’s Beirut, complements the new NAZ logo by sharing strong shapes and innovative calligraphic principles.



Span’s other departure from typical higher education branding was to reimagine the traditional academic shield – which evokes antiquated ideals of protection, separation, and militarization – as both a window and an inviting entrance into campus life and education.



Beyond the identity system, Span created various photographic treatments, patterns, shapes, illustrations, and three viewbooks. These elements constitute a comprehensive toolkit for the internal design team, allowing for continued advancement for generations to come.