A New Suit

To kick off our 128th year, Texas Exes gets an updated look.

Less than two years ago, this magazine underwent its first design overhaul in more than a decade. When the July 2011 issue rolled out, we heard from dozens of readers who loved (and did not love) the new look. One of the best comments came from Mickey M. Sparkman, a Life Member from Nashville, who wrote, “Count me in as one of those who admires the new look of ‘The Old Alcalde.’ Even an old guy needs a new suit every so often.”

With 2013, the Texas Exes is entering its 128th year and getting its own new suit. This summer, the Association hired Austin-based Arsenal Advertising + Public Relations to conduct a 360-degree audit of the Texas Exes brand. The firm did focus groups, pored through mountains of printed materials, reviewed hundreds of emails, and asked many alumni what they thought of the current Texas Exes brand, especially the popular bumper stickers! When it came time for the final presentation, we all were eager to see what design recommendations would be made.  Above, you can see what they came up with.

“The new logo builds on the Texas Exes’ distinctive look using the iconic horseshoe TEX and signature burnt orange, and those elements create a strong connection to the Association’s heritage,” says Dave Shaw, BS ’92, Life Member, who led the brand audit. “At the same time, the redesign is contemporary and inviting to a new generation of Texas Exes.”

The horseshoe is easier to see when made smaller. The typeface is custom-designed for us and updated for improved legibility. And the former tagline of “’Til Gabriel Blows His Horn” is no more—in fact, we’ve done away with a Texas Exes tagline altogether. The changes are more than just aesthetic. The new look is informed by our goals to be more relevant and indispensable to alumni than ever, to improve the student experience, to communicate the value of the University, and to advocate on its behalf.

Close readers of the magazine will notice that we have made some subtle but important design changes to fit with the new Texas Exes brand. Most prominently, we have placed the Texas Exes logo at top left on the cover in what we call the skyscraper. The “the” before Alcalde is also gone. And the tagline now reads: The Official Publication of the Texas Exes.

These changes are just the latest in a long tradition of tweaks to the language and branding of the Texas Exes and Alcalde. In the magazine’s inaugural issue in April 1913, it was The Alcalde, and the tagline read: “Published Eight Times a Year by the Former Students of the University of Texas.” The Former Students eventually became the Ex-Students’ Association and today is referred to as the Texas Exes. The “the” before Alcalde has come and gone: it was there in 1913, gone in 1962, then back in 2002. In 1994, the magazine switched to Texas Alcalde, but only through 2001. The closest version of the new tagline comes from 1954, when it was briefly “The Magazine for Texas Exes.”

It is a new day for the Texas Exes, but as always we remain alumni and friends who gather to champion The University of Texas. We’ll just be doing it in a brand-new suit.

John Beckworth
President, Texas Exes


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