Jim Vattano and Chancellor Easter
The Branding Leadership Award goes to Jim Vattano, a graphic designer with the College of Engineering Communications Office.
In 2003, Jim began treating the disparate projects that came across his desk as a family of materials – creating a consistent look and feel that incorporated the Illinois identity in every piece. In 2006, new administrators recognized Jim’s work as a solution to what one associate dean termed “a cacophony of disengagement rather than engagement materials.”
This led to the College’s first cohesive, professional design platform – flexible enough to be applied to everything from T-shirts to posters. Jim led efforts to guide disparate, and sometimes resistant, groups toward adoption.
Despite a budget crunch, administrators approved production of materials that were free to all units. Reflecting the college design, materials could be mixed, matched and packaged for a variety of audiences and needs, with each piece prominently conveying the Illinois identity.
A proponent of branding up long before the university asked for it, Jim’s work is still used as an example to explain the benefits of a comprehensive visual identity to the campus. He has shown how a coordinated design approach can deliver materials that are original, creative and still clearly a part of the Illinois family.