“Create Your Legacy” is the new tagline created by the Office of Admissions and University Marketing and Communications to capture the attention of prospective students throughout Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. This new theme was first introduced August 28 in a new Admissions video at the Admissions annual kickoff event. This 30 second spot is currently playing during Redbird Athletics events on ESPN+ and may also appear in cable and network television advertising throughout Illinois.

The new Create Your Legacy wordmark will appear in Admissions publications and on digital screens and on banners throughout campus this fall. The wordmark features a translucent script font that gives the mark a creative, hand-painted appearance. This scalable vector graphics (SVG) font and its transparency feature represent a new trend within graphic design and Generation Z culture.

“The Create Your Legacy concept reflects the individualized, student focus found at ISU.”

Evan Walles ’06, UMC designer and Illinois State alumnus, who created the wordmark also created an Illinois State mark using this font, which is also featured throughout the communications materials. Additional design elements such as torn paper edges and hand-painted graffiti combine with the new tagline to evoke an accessible and creative feel.

“Individual expression was the inspiration for the design behind Create Your Legacy. I wanted it to have the feel of a student writing in a notebook or painting in a studio and perhaps dreaming of their future,” said Walles. “Admissions was really looking for something new and different than everything else in the market. The Create Your Legacy concept reflects the individualized, student focus found at ISU.”

“Create Your Legacy speaks to the sorts of things we hear from prospective students all the time,” said Dillon Maher ’17, communications specialist for Admissions and tagline co-creator. “They’re looking for a place where they feel at home and where they can begin to pave their own path forward for the years they’re in college and all the years that come after. Create Your Legacy highlights how we give students the tools and skills to make that happen here at Illinois State University with an eye to the future. We’re challenging students who are looking at joining the Redbird family to think about what legacy they want to leave—and to think about how Illinois State’s commitment to learning and teaching can help get them there.”

The watermark seal, a staple of the Illinois State visual brand, will also continue to be used in conjunction with Create Your Legacy marks. Although the tagline is new, it will be anchored to Illinois State’s essential visual brand elements such as the seal and the University logo.

Although the launch is focused on Admissions, throughout the year UMC will be working with departments across campus to create publications and digital expressions for colleges, departments, and units who choose to make Create Your Legacy a part of their communications initiatives.

The tagline was the result of a multi-year effort involving communications specialists from throughout campus. “Originally, we intended to launch a new tagline in fall of 2018. Our teams had created two taglines that we thought would speak to students in a way that would further differentiate Illinois State from the crowd of university choices available to top students,” said Brian Beam, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications. “When we market tested our original taglines, they failed miserably. Our research told us we needed to start over. One bright spot from that research was that we found the word ’legacy’ scored very highly with prospective students. While it may seem counterintuitive, Create Your Legacy was a clear winner of the potential taglines tested with senior high school students.”

Enrollment Management’s Pat Healy designed and coordinated the research effort and survey of accepted student prospects in spring 2019. “Pat’s marketing research work and knowledge were instrumental in this campaign effort. We also appreciate the work of the many communicators throughout campus who generated the initial 40-plus tagline ideas.” said Beam.

The script for the 30 second spot was written and produced by Admissions and University Marketing and Communications with voice-over by Director of Admissions Jeff Mavros.

Create Your Legacy script:

At Illinois State University our legacy is one of preparing students
To create, to explore, to lead, to make an impact
Our students graduate on time, find success in their field, and make a difference in the world
That’s our legacy. What will yours be?
Create Your Legacy at Illinois State University