Aug 20, 2021 - Education

UNC Charlotte is rebranding

Logo: University of North Carolina at Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is getting a makeover, and from now on it’ll go by just “Charlotte” in casual references — not “UNCC.”

UNC Charlotte and University of North Carolina at Charlotte are still appropriate names to use, per the university. It remains part of the UNC system.

Why it matters: This is a way for the second largest university in the UNC system to distinguish itself and embrace its own identity — and not be confused with UNC Chapel Hill.

  • “We’re about to be 75. We know who we are. And we know where we’re going,” Charlotte’s promotional materials read.
  • The school says its market research indicated that the “UNCC” name caused confusion both in the community and among prospective students.
  • On social media, current the former students chimed in with their own thoughts on the rebrand — and many suggested dropping the “UNC” altogether.

“Through surveys, interviews and focus groups, we learned most of the university’s audiences did not have a clear understanding of UNC Charlotte’s brand,” spokesperson Jason Vaughn said in an email. Audiences, in this case, mean prospective and current students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and the border community.

Zoom out: Last year, Charlotte’s athletics department adopted a new brand identity characterized by an “All-in-C” logo, a big, bold green C with the 49ers’ gold-mining pick inside it. The rest of the school is now adopting this new look.

Of note: This overhaul is part of a strategic plan UNC Charlotte developed that involves increasing the university’s national and international reputation, Vaughn said, “elevating to a top-tier research university and increasing our rankings in US News and World Report.”

What’s changing: Everything that has the school’s stamp on it — signage, email addresses (in 2022), the university’s website (from uncc.edu to charlotte.edu), you name it.

The school spells out explicit “DO NOT USE” examples on its website:

  • UNCC
  • UNC-C
  • UNC-Charlotte
  • University of NC at Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina – Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • University of Charlotte
  • Charlotte University

Yes, but: Other schools’ past rebrands have ruffled feathers. When Western Michigan University, for instance, updated its logo and color scheme, some affiliated with the school were upset students, faculty and alumni weren’t consulted on the change.

UNC Charlotte has not yet disclosed the cost of its rebrand.

Editor’s note: UNC Charlotte is an Axios Charlotte partner but this is not a sponsored post.

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