Coppin State University and Change

The Coppin State University story spans over a century while the pages continue to be written. The evolution of a single training class into a full-fledged university is nothing short of remarkable. Each step taken has been a measure of the of minds of thousands whose determination has yielded proof of personal and institutional achievement.

With 113 years of documented change, Coppin State embarks on yet another journey toward improvement - enhancing the brandmark (or logo as it’s more commonly known). To understand the significant role change has played at Coppin State, we must first examine the name:

1900   Training Class for the Preparation of Negro Elementary School Teachers
1902   Normal Department of the Colored High and Training School
1909   Colored Teachers Training School
1926   Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School
1939   Coppin Teachers College
1950   Coppin State Teachers College
1963   Coppin State College
2004   Coppin State University

In addition to the name, Coppin State's purpose and mission have evolved over the last century. An excerpt from a 1907 document entitled Colored High and Training School reads: "the school recognizes as the probable fields of effort of its graduates: - first, the profession of teaching; second, the professions of the minister, the doctor and the lawyer; third, business life; fourth, the practical arts; fifth, home-keeping." Today the mission reads: "The University provides educational access and diverse opportunities for students through excellence in teaching, research, and community engagement thus preparing analytical, socially responsible, lifelong learners."

Along with the evolution of name and mission over the years came various visual identities of the university. A search through archives prior to the 1970’s revealed the adoption of the Baltimore City Seal and the Maryland State Seal, most likely due to the educational jurisdiction of the university. By 1970 we see a visual identity beginning to develop. The use of a tagline was also implemented to reinforce the role of the university at that time. During the 1980s and '90s, new marks, were again introduced [fig. 1].

Coppin Visual Identity History

The New Look

As we look to solidify Coppin State's visual identity, the following are the concepts being considered for one to emerge as the permanent logo for the university. We are asking Coppin State stakeholders to weigh-in on choosing the new logo.

CSU Logo New Concept 1

A. Shield and Feather

This logo design combines the symbolism of a shield and a feather, denoting history, tradition, strength, forward movement, and knowledge. Specifically, the shield is a traditional symbol of leadership, stability, protection, and safety; and the eagle feather is a symbol of the knowledge and bravery needed to make positive change—an apt analogy for the resilience and drive of Coppin's students. The position of the feather within the shield gives the logo a contemporary look. A modern serif font adds a current flavor to the mark while still paying respect to the University's historical roots.

CSU Logo New Concept 2

B. Sun Ray "C"

Using rays to illuminate the "C," the mark conveys warmth, growth, and forward thinking using the sun a symbol of enlightment, intuitive knowledge, and seeking wisdom. Additionally in ancient traditions, the eagle is "the great illuminator," able to see past, present, and future for which this mark takes inspiration. The primary font is clean and traditional, with a historic flavor. The font used for "University" gives the mark a modern finish.

CSU Logo New Concept 3

C. Eagle Head

This mark was designed to compliment the Athletic Department's use of the eagle. Eagles have clear vision and are devoted nurturers—a direct reflection of Coppin State University's values. This mark focuses on the head of the eagle in profile with an upward gaze implying aspirations to higher understanding and the desire to rise above. The shield and establishment date help portray the long history and prestige of Coppin. The beak of the eagle breaks the boundary of the shield giving the mark depth. The fonts used are a modern spin on traditional serifs that were chosen for readability at various sizes as well as visual interest acquired at larger reproductions.

Submit Your Vote

Please examine each logo carefully. A description of what each logo concept represents has been provided to assist in your decision. Choose the one that you feel best fits Coppin State University. Feel free to leave comments and feedback. (Note: Coppin colors will remain Blue and Gold. Logos are presented in black and white in order to emphasize graphic concept.)