Hit or Miss

The “New” New School

The NY Times had an interesting article today about renaming and branding of colleges and universities, which focused on my current employer.

Unlike my friends and family, I had heard of the New School (and its interesting history) before applying to work here (I had to put up with lots of “The new school? What was the old school?” jokes). But like many of my colleagues, I usually called it “The New School” instead of “New School University,” because the latter was usually met with blank or confused stares (or people would ask me if we were part of NYU).

So I’m totally onboard with the name change (even if our former “Actor’s Studio” students are still fuming). What I am skeptical of is the new logo. To paraphase my Parsons students, “We have one of the top design programs in the country and we paid counsultants millions of dollars to design an orange spray paint stencil?” I understand that it’s supposed to be urban and edgy, but in execution on our new stationary it looks like the printer accidentally smudged the logo.

Here’s the laughable part of the article:

The idea at the New School, Mr. Kerrey said, is to unify the university’s disparate units, clarify its mission and project to potential students and donors what makes the place unusual. That, he said, and the fact that New School University is not particularly good English (emphasis added).

And “The New School, A University” is good English? The conflicting articles drive me crazy. And are we supposed to capitalize the “The” if it’s not at the beginning of a sentence or not? But we’re having a lot of fun with the comma — my colleagues and I pronounce it as if we were reading stage directions: “The New School… dramatic pause… a university.”

The last school I worked for had also changed its name (from Northeast Missouri State University to Truman State University) a few years earlier to reflect its change in mission from a regional state school to the state’s premiere public liberal arts university. When I left (almost 10 years after the name change), we were still using up stationary, etc. with the old name. I imagine it’ll be the same at the New School.

3 responses so far (Respond)


That logo. It sucks a little.

But orange is nice!

Mush | 12 Aug 2005

i am taking a break from modifying your AWESOME program plan
i’m glad to see an update on this site!
hitormiss.org…dramatic pause…a blog

Katie | 19 Aug 2005

hi can you tell me when the logo was made and when the first one was.

dani | 14 Dec 2006