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Celebrating 125 years

Since 1899, Azusa Pacific University has been preparing leaders to make a lasting impact in the world and its 125th anniversary provided a significant opportunity to reinforce that mission.


In preparation for its 125th anniversary, Azusa Pacific University embarked on a strategic brand identity campaign that would commemorate this important milestone in the life of the institution. Our strategy sessions identified the campaign’s focus: To reinforce Azusa Pacific University as a prominent leader in faith-based higher education by celebrating its commitment to God First throughout its storied history. The campaign would aim to bolster brand affinity among current and future generations of students, faculty, alumni, and stakeholders as it propelled the university into the future.

Brand Identity Design

In crafting a brand identity reflective of the university’s rich history and forward-thinking ethos, our creative approach involved bridging both traditional and modern elements. We were mindful of the university’s enduring brand assets such as its logos, typefaces, color palette, and photography, yet aimed to bring new life to these elements as we created the anniversary brand identity. We offered an expanded color palette, simplified university logo marks, and stylized image treatments that harmonized both historic and current photos within the context of the anniversary brand campaign. 

​Through creative discovery sessions, we landed on a stately, typographic design aesthetic that featured the acronym, APU. Branding the university with APU was new territory, yet it promoted the pride of place that many constituents exhibit when they refer to Azusa Pacific University as APU. With this approach, we created a standalone anniversary logo mark that would serve as the primary brand identity while allowing for the "125" to be used in the context of the existing university logo system. Additionally, we created a variety of spirit mark badges that incorporated the "125" for use on apparel and other merchandise items.

Brand Support

Once we established the identity design, we created a variety of brand applications in conjunction with the launch of the anniversary brand campaign. From campus banners to apparel and other bookstore merchandise, the visual identity was brought to life in a way that energized the community and reinforced school affinity.

Brand Launch

The anniversary branding debuted during the new student orientation weekend, an annual event that marks the official beginning of the school year. This was the ideal context to introduce the APU125 brand to the community as many faculty, staff, and new students flood into campus at the same time. School ambassadors promoted the anniversary by sporting branded apparel and other gear while embodying the celebratory nature of the anniversary as they welcomed new students to campus. 

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Maureen Taylor

Vice President, Divison of Strategic Communication and Engagement  |  Azusa Pacific University


The APU125 branding amplified a positive forward momentum that the university had been experiencing. It introduced fresh visuals into legacy brand assets that excited university stakeholders and caused them to own the brand with renewed commitment as they implemented it in their different areas of influence. Furthermore, we made small changes to legacy brand assets that had a big impact on refreshing the parent brand in preparation for a more comprehensive university branding initiative to come.

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