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Pepperdine Brand Identity Style Guide

brand umbrella

Our Strategy

Pepperdine has adopted a master brand strategy in which all constituents of the University fall under the Pepperdine brand umbrella, thus allowing each to take advantage of the high level of respect associated with the Pepperdine name.

Everything we do affects our brand, its identity, and how it is viewed by the world. Accordingly, every impression we make impacts the way people think about Pepperdine. This is why it is so critical that we carefully and effectively manage our brand identity. While the standards set out here can not possibly address every design situation that may arise, they do, however, establish an overall groundwork for the strategy and execution of Pepperdine brand messaging and brand visuals. In those instances in which a branding question is not addressed, Integrated Marketing Communications stands ready to assist you.

President Andrew K. Benton, in his vision statement, "Envisioning a Bold Future," described the benefits of such a structure in commenting on the future of the University. "Pepperdine University, as an entity and as an aggregate, defines the context within which each of the five schools will excel. All of the schools Seaver College, the Caruso School of Law, the School of Public Policy, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology and the Graziadio School of Business and Management—will rise together; their service will exhibit the eloquence of this University's mission and, in so doing, Pepperdine will reach far and will keep its promises.

Our Brand Promise

Our brand is our promise to our various audiences that what we have asked them to expect from us will always be reflected in our interaction with them. By making our promise and then consistently delivering on that promise, over time our "brand" becomes that which immediately comes to mind when someone sees or hears our name. Our branding goal is to take advantage of our unique and meaningful characteristics in order to establish Pepperdine's reputation not just as an institution of higher learning, but also as a University that promises to educate the heart and the soul, as well as the mind.

When our audience experiences a brand touch point—a Pepperdine web site, a school view book, newspaper advertising, a campus tour led by a student, the physical location of the campus, or even the experience any one of us provides when talking about Pepperdine to those not familiar with the University—our promise is being communicated and reinforced. Over time that promise becomes how these people define us. Our promise becomes our brand.

Three critical elements are necessary to creating and sustaining a successful and compelling brand promise. First, the promise must be relevant to our audience. Second, the promise needs to be communicated and delivered in a consistent manner. Third, and most important, the promise must be lived by all associated with Pepperdine. It stands to reason then, that our promise should be reflective of the University mission. That which we aspire to be is the promise we make in our everyday activities and interactions.

Our Beginning

Pepperdine's school colors were adopted in 1937 after students voted to approve President Baxter's suggestion of blue and orange; blue representing the Pacific Ocean, and orange representing California. Baxter also recommended "Waves" as the name for Pepperdine athletic teams to differentiate from other schools' penchant for animal names. Even though the school was then miles from the ocean, it found approval and has characterized Pepperdine athletics ever since.