Sinclair drops ‘community’ from top of website

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Sinclair branding

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Sinclair College has dropped the word “community” from one of its logos — although it remains on others — and President Steven Johnson said the change is about improving the school’s website and not a departure from the school’s mission as a community college.

“We do not aspire to become a university … We’re about the working parent or the working person,” Johnson said.

In December, Sinclair removed “community” from the logo atop its website. The logo without the word “community” is now prominent on the college’s Twitter page, Facebook profile photo, in some brochures and on banners. It’s also at the construction site of its health sciences center.

The Sinclair Community College name also is on those sites in other places.

Sinclair has long referred to itself as Sinclair Community College and Sinclair College, Johnson said.

From a business standpoint, Johnson said multiple logos are used so there is no question that the school owns the rights to all of them. The changes online may also save space, he said.

Sinclair is not even the school’s “birth certificate” name. It’s called the Warren County and Montgomery County Community College District in its articles of incorporation, Johnson said.

A condensed logo may help Sinclair with its brand, marketing experts said.

The cleaner logo could elevate Sinclair’s stature, said Tom Hayes, a higher education marketing expert who serves as dean of Xavier University’s college of business.

“In people’s perception, there are different levels of quality based on nomenclature,” Hayes said.

Although Sinclair officials said they aren’t concerned with appealing to a broader audience, the tweaked logo could serve that purpose, said John Sammon, president of Cleveland-based Sixth City Marketing, which has worked with Kent State University and Ohio University.

Sammon said that alterations to college logos typically occur online first. A logo or name change, he said, typically comes only after months of planning.

Sinclair’s brand is well known in southwest Ohio and Johnson said people know what it stands for.

The difference may be more psychological, said Nyasha Mugabe, a student from Zimbabwe studying political science. His classmate, Kyle Gibbs, of Dayton, agreed.

“People kind of associate the ‘community’ part with maybe being less accredited, but I don’t think that at all,” Gibbs said. “I do think that Sinclair College sounds a little bit sleeker, a little more modern.”

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