CWI Brand – Development, Research, and What’s Next

Published: October 15, 2020

As a follow-up to the brand update presented at the 2020 College Address, College Relations would like to share a brief recap on work that has been accomplished and what to expect moving forward related to the College of Western Idaho (CWI) Brand initiative.


As you may recall, a new brand identity was introduced during the Spring 2020 faculty and staff in-service in January. An enormous amount of work has been done since then to research, review data, and begin developing concepts for the new college logo. In addition, Brand Champions volunteered to help provide direction and feedback on these concepts.

Based on brand research, survey and focus group data, and a follow-up survey with Brand Champions earlier this year, the following attributes and logo characteristics surfaced.

Top Three Attributes that Resonate with CWI Community:

  • Inviting/Welcoming
  • Reputable/Quality
  • Innovative

Desired Logo Design Characteristics:

  • Modern
  • Friendly
  • Quality
  • Organic
  • Integrated with symbol(s) that carry additional meaning
  • Flexibility
  • Simplicity
  • Boldness

Preferred Themes for Symbol Element:

  • Compass
    • navigating, setting/plotting your course, college trek/journey (outdoor element)
  • Connector
    • pathway (bridge, ramp), conduit, student to career or transfer, connection between counties, connection between rural and urban
  • Movement
    • bettering life, making fearless decision for self-improvement, upward momentum and growth

These attributes and logo characteristics helped direct the creative team with development of logo concepts. The design team, comprised of in-house and external creatives from Interact Communications, collaborated on this effort developing over 120 unique concepts.

Concepts were sorted and narrowed by comparing against the research data, identifying those that most closely aligned, while also carrying the strongest logo design traits and qualities.

Five concepts were presented to the Brand Champions in March 2020 during a working session. The group’s selections and feedback were collected and used to finalize concepts to be included in the Brand Survey.


The survey was open for three weeks in June and July, and focused on gathering quantitative and qualitative feedback from the college community and larger external community.

 A total of 1,352 participants completed the online survey. According to Interact Communications, our brand research partner, this is considered a very high response rate. Typically, when Interact conducts these types of community and campus-based surveys, response rates average around 500 participants at most. In CWI’s case, the response rate was well above expectations and provides a high degree of statistical strength and confidence in reliability of the data and results. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Below is a quick summary of some of the findings based on the results.


Overall people would be accepting of a new logo.

Three different concepts were presented and, while some areas internally did like concept #1, concept #2 showed the highest preference overall from internal and external audiences.


Since we were reaching a large audience with this survey, we took the opportunity to measure how open the community would be to color changes. According to our internal respondents, results indicated a mixed response of preference between our current palette and something different; however, overall respondents were quite open to considering a new color scheme.

What’s Next

With knowledge the community is open to a color change, we will continue work on refining a new, refreshed color scheme to align with the extensive research that has been conducted, as well as the results and feedback from the survey.

During their September meeting, the CWI Board of Trustees acknowledged all of the work thus far on the brand and communicated to continue moving forward into next steps of finalization, which includes the following work:

  • Final review and adjustments on #2 logo concept
  • Brand Strategy will be finalized; new logo, new color palette, and mascot development


As you may have guessed, the introduction of COVID-19 has resulted in delays in the original timeline for the brand development and release. Based on these delays, Phase 1 of kick-off and launch of the new brand is now targeted for Spring 2021.

The brand is currently on the institutional list of initiatives and will be prioritized accordingly. In addition, much of the planning of resources for this transition will occur in AETAC. Please keep in mind this timeline will be dependent upon budget resources and capacity. Rollout of the brand will be phased to accommodate balance of budget and capacity resources. More information will be made available as brand strategy and timelines for the transition is finalized.

The CWI Brand survey report is available for employees to reference on the Communications and Marketing Brand Resource page on myCWI. During the new brand implementation, this will also be a primary location where resources and communications will be shared to assist CWI employees during the transition.

If you have questions about the CWI Brand, or would like to be involved, please contact College Relations at or 208.562.2222.

Stay Up To Date

Learn about news and events by subscribing to CWI’s eNewsletter.

View Newsletter Archive